Citizen science program launched to help save endangered western ringtail possums

Wirambi Landcare have teamed up with the City of Mandurah and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) to conduct a western ringtail possum citizen science program.

The program runs for one month and aims to gather as much information about the species to improve researchers' understanding.

Starting on April 18, Wirambi Landcare are hoping to get as many people as possible from the Peel and Yalgorup regions involved.

Participants will spend 30 minutes, twice a week, looking for the furry marsupials in their backyards or nearby bush reserves.

Wirambi Landcare research supervisor and volunteer coordinator Jason Bird said he encouraged the public to get involved and make an adventure of it with the family.

"People may not realise that they have such a unique species in their backyard," he said.

"By participating in the program people will be actively involved in collecting important data and information that will assist in the conservation efforts in protecting and preserving a critically endangered species."

Mr Bird said the results were crucial to ensuring the possums stick around for future generations to enjoy.

"By conducting this program and trying to engage and educate as many people this will provide some level of understanding of what is happening to the population," he said.

"The results that we will receive from the participants will give us a clue where they are distributed, the number and any impacts on the species.

"The data collected will be used to put together plans and initiatives to better protect and conserve the population of ringtail possums."

There will be a community information session on Saturday, April 13 at 10am for the general public to learn more about the survey.

Those interested will learn about how to identify the ringtail Possum, the reason for conducting the program and how to fill out the data collection sheet. They will also have the opportunity to ask questions as well as engage with Wirambi Landcare staff and volunteers that are assisting in coordinating the program.

Staff from the City of Mandurah and DBCA will host the session at the Falcon eLibrary.

For more information, visit the City of Mandurah website.