western ringtail possum appearance

Western ringtail possums are only found in the south-west of Western Australia. They build nests or resting places called ‘dreys’ from the foliage and also use tree hollows. They live throughout forests, coastal scrub and temperate forests. The tail can also be used for carrying items such as nesting material. The fur on the belly is white.
Unlike the closely related brushtail possum they have not benefitted from urbanization as they do not regularly live in the roof of humans houses.

Ngwayir forage at night through the upper canopy of trees, feeding on young leaves, flowers and fruit, especially in groves of the weeping peppermint Agonis flexuosa. They walk on all four legs, have long tails, and usually live fully or partially in trees. It differs from the common ring-tail possum found on the east of the continent, by lacking any rufous colouration in the fur.

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T18492A21963100. Common ring tailed possums are unique among possums in that the male will help care for the young. It is the same colour as the back along most of its length and ends with a white tip. Young are born very early in development. A solution provided for other arboreal species, the construction of rope bridges, was created and observed to evaluate the impact on gene flow and mortality in a population near Busselton. Breeding occurs mainly during the winter, the single juvenile emerging fro… The western ringtail has declined in abundance and range because of habitat destruction and predation by Vulpes vulpes, the fox introduced from Europe in the early twentieth century. They also come under threat from introduced predators such as dogs, foxes and cats. Both the ringtail and brushtail possum can curl their tails into a ring-like shape to hold on to branches. First Field Guide To Australian Mammals. Their nest is built inside a tree hollow or they may build a drey. : Our Wildlife Fact Sheet - Common Ringtail Possum. 1st ed. Animal. About the size of a cat, the Common Ringtail Possum is grey with white patches behind the eyes and on the belly, and orange-brown tinges on the tail and limbs. 1st ed. [2][3], The original description of the western population was as a separate species, Pseudocheirus occidentalis,[4] although have it is also noted as a subspecies or member of a Pseudocheirus peregrinus species complex. With the expansion of human populations they have adjusted to living among urban areas.

The classification as subspecies Pseudocheirus peregrinus occidentalis allies the population to the ringtail P. peregrinus which is common in Eastern Australia. The young may remain with their parents until the next infants are born. The success of the rope bridge in providing an alternative to road crossing was greater than anticipated, when compared to the adoption of possums and gliders in similar programs and may be a means of reducing mortality and population fragmentation.[13].

The quality of its preferred food source, the weeping peppermint, is higher when the forest has been less exposed to high intensity fires. [9][12] They are primarily arboreal, but will move through understorey or open ground to feed or gain shelter when the tree canopy is unconnected. Nationally it is also listed as Critically Endangered under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, and internationally is on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as Critically Endangered. It is usually dark brown (though sometimes dark grey) above, with cream or grey fur on the belly, chest and throat. If you think you have western ringtail possums living in your area there are a few things you can do to help conserve this species: Department of Parks and Wildlife (2017).

It uses tree hollows and builds dreys for shelter in tree canopies, their nest-like drey is an assemblage of shredded bark, twigs and leaves. 1st ed. [9] Pseudocheirus occidentalis has dark grey-brown fur with light patches behind the ears and a creamy white, sometimes greyish, colour at the underside of the body that extends to the chest and throat. Join Our Mailing List to Get Daily Animal Profiles & Animal News Delivered to Your Mailbox. 58. Young are born very early in development. An assessment of habitat for western ringtail possum (Pseudocheirus occidentalis) on the southern Swan Coastal Plain, Annual report, yearbook and performance highlights, Biodiversity Conservation Act and Regulations, Nearer to Nature - Schools, Community , Bush Rangers, Pseudocheirus occidentalis (Ngwayir, Western Ringtail, Western Ringtail Possum), Predation by introduced predators (foxes and feral cats), Altered fire regimes and the effects of drought, Drive carefully to avoid vehicle strikes, particularly at night, Retain and plant peppermint trees which are an important food item, Avoid chemicals and baits that can be harmful to possums, Keep domestic pets contained, particularly at night.
Their fur colour is highly variable across their range going from reddish brown to grey and through to black on the back. The western ringtail possum is characterised by its dark brown fur with a cream or grey chest and stomach, short rounded ears and very long, thin, white-tipped tail, with very short hair on the tail. [6][9] The species favours coastal forest habitat still dominated by Agonis flexuosa (weeping peppermint) and eucalypt forest that has not been subject to modern logging and fire practices. Ringtails spend most of their time in trees (arboreal), particularly in the canopy of peppermint (Agonis flexuosa) woodland and eucalypt forests.

The possums investigated the facility while still under construction and made the first crossing one month after the bridges completion. [6] Also the necessary frequent retrieval of the animal to change batteries could add a stress factor that might increase the likelihood of death – a scenario so far not investigated by research. A white tip on the tail is not a distinguishing feature for a ringtail possum as brushtail possums can also have a white-tipped tail as shown in the photos below. The conservation status of the species was assessed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature in 2017, and classified as critically endangered due to a declining population that numbered around 3400 individuals. New South Wales: Pascal Press. The fur on the belly is white. The archaeological records and other known locations show a historical range that extended southwest of a line from Geraldton, greater than 400 kilometres north of the Swan River, to the Hampton Tableland on the south coast, 200 km west of the border of South Australia. Here they can be found in the East of the country throughout Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory. Unpublished report for the Department of Parks and Wildlife, Bunbury, Western Australia.

International Union for Conservation of Nature, https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T18492A21963100.en, "Pseudocheirus occidentalis — Western Ringtail Possum", "Naturebase documents: Western Ringtail Possum", "A remarkably quick habituation and high use of a rope bridge by an endangered marsupial, the western ringtail possum", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Western_ringtail_possum&oldid=973329241, IUCN Red List critically endangered species, Taxonbars using multiple manual Wikidata items, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 16 August 2020, at 16:49. Weaning can take place anywhere between 5 and 8 months of age. Strongholds for the population in the distribution range include urban gardens and reserves in the cities of Busselton and Albany, where refuge from fire and foxes has been found. A description of the species was published in 1888 by Oldfield Thomas in a systematic review of specimens held at the British Museum of Natural History. [2], A species of Pseudocheirus, arboreal marsupials around the size of a domestic cat, all of which have stocky bodies and legs with grasping feet suited to climbing. Report sightings of western ringtail possums by sending us a fauna report form. A drey is a circular nest built out of leaves, sticks, twigs and other natural materials. Ngwayir forage at night through the upper canopy of trees, feeding on young leaves, flowers and fruit, especially in groves of the weeping peppermint Agonis flexuosa. A white tip on the tail is not a distinguishing feature for a ringtail possum as brushtail possums can also have a white-tipped tail as shown in the photos below. The population has declined by more than 95% since British settlement, due to clearing of habitat, fire and the introduction of the red fox Vulpes vulpes, and is classified as Critically Endangered. The animal was first described as Pseudochirus occidentalis by Thomas, repeating an incorrect spelling of the genus, and currently recognised as Pseudocheirus occidentalis. The ‘peregrinus’ section of their scientific name means ‘foreign false hand.’, Andrew Mercer (www.baldwhiteguy.co.nz) / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0). The ring tailed possum is a herbivore. In Western Australia the species is listed as Critically Endangered fauna under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016. The profile of the back and rump slopes toward a prehensile tail that tapers to a fine and white point. Inland subpopulations at the wet and moderate jarrah and karri forest were thought to be up to several hundred thousand prior to 2002, but these numbers were reduced by probably greater than 99% by 2009. 2020. The face is paler than the rest of their fur. Burbidge, A.A. & Zichy-Woinarski, J.

The western ringtail possum is a threatened species under State and Commonwealth legislation. The young emerge from the pouch at about three months of age, when they weigh about 125 g, and suckle until they are 6–7 months old, weighing about 550 g.[12] The common ringtail possum weighs between 550 and 1100 g and is approximately 30–35 cm long when grown (excluding the tail, which is roughly the same length again). While found in greater numbers in eucalypt woodlands of jarrah and Eucalyptus staeri, the use of sheoak woodland was previously unknown.

The western ringtail possum is a shy animal that is rarely seen on the ground unlike its more regularly encountered relative, the common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula). While they have four teats they will typically only raise 2 young. The eyes of the ring tailed possum are brown. Natural predators of the ring tailed possum include powerful owls and dingoes. [ebook] Victoria: Enivornment, land, water and planning Victoria, pp.1-2. The species has a head and body length of 320–400 mm, a tail length of 300–400 mm, and a weight of 850 to 1000 grams (1300 g[6]). Breeding takes place from April to November. Young leaves are preferred, avoiding the lignin content of mature plant matter. Once they are here they attach to the teat and remain here for the next 4 months. Their fur colour is highly variable across their range going from reddish brown to grey and through to black on the back. [8] Populations centres at the beginning of the twenty first century became isolated by rapid expansions of urbanised areas, remaining on the Swan Coastal Plain and the undisturbed peppermint stands at the south. [1] Western ring-tails are listed as endangered by the state authority in Western Australia and recognised on the region's sensitive species list and by national legislation as critically endangered.[14]. [8], The species will attempt to cross roadways within their foraging range, which leads to a high degree of fatalities as road kill. Collingwood, Vic. Ringtail rehabilitation and release work was in the beginning conducted and resourced as a project of the Possum Centre Busselton Inc. which we founded in 2006 (and left in 2016). Australian Reptile Park - Wildlife Park Sydney & Animal Encounters Australia.


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