Our Wildlife

Caring for and living with our local species

Our most critically endangered
local species

The Western Ringtail Possum

Psuedocheirus Occidentalis

Ngawayir (Noongar Language)

Conservation status: Critically Endangered

Photo: Sue Morris

If we don’t act now, the Western Ringtail Possum is likely to become extinct in the wild.

It’s estimated that there are 8000 of these adorable little marsupials left in Western Australia’s south west.

In fact, they are listed as critically endangered under the WA Wildlife Conservation Act (1950), which is only one step away from extinction. South West residents are lucky to share their back yard with a critically endangered species. We are calling on our community to take action and help us protect and conserve this unique marsupial before it’s too late.

The species faces several threats to its survival, including habitat destruction and fragmentation, predation by foxes, feral cats and domestic pets, and death from vehicle strikes.

Here’s an idea of some of the costs involved with conservation activities:
  • $350 will buy a transponder tag for monitoring possums in the wild.
  • $30 will buy a months’ worth of milk for sick or injured possums.
  • $35 will buy a specialised nest box.
  • $50 will buy 64 Peppermint tree seedlings for revegetating habitat.
  • $70-$1600 heat pads and incubators for possums in care.

Baudins, Carnaby and Red -Tailed Forest Black Cockatoo

Calyptorhynchus baudinii | Calyptorhynchus latirostris | Calyptorhynchus banksii

Ngoolark | karak (Noongar Language)

Conservation status: Critically Endangered

Photo: Sue Morris

Southwestern Australia is home to three black-cockatoo species – Baudin’s Black-Cockatoo, Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo, and the southwestern subspecies, the Forest Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo.

All three of these iconic Western Australian birds are currently listed as threatened under both state and federal legislation.

In fact, they are listed as critically endangered under the WA Wildlife Conservation Act (1950), which is only one step away from extinction. South West residents are lucky to share their back yard with a critically endangered species. We are calling on our community to take action and help us protect and conserve this unique birds before it’s too late.

The species faces several threats to its survival, including habitat destruction and fragmentation, predation by foxes, feral cats and domestic pets; and death from vehicle strikes.

There are a number of threats facing Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo:
  • Habitat fragmentation, particularly in the northern and eastern areas of the Wheatbelt. Most habitat suitable for breeding and feeding in the Wheatbelt has been cleared entirely or fragmented. In addition, clearing of heathland surrounding breeding sites has reduced the survival rate of fledglings by decreasing the available food sources for the young
  • Removal of nest hollows for use as firewood or just to make properties look ‘tidy’. Much woodland lacks hollows, and it takes over 100 years for woodland seedlings to mature and form hollows suitable for nesting
  • Competition for hollows from other species
  • Loss of native food sources caused by urban development on the Swan coastal plain
  • Poaching: illegal poaching is still a threat – trees are often cut down or the hollow severely damaged when young and eggs are taken, removing breeding sites
  • Invasive species: other bird species such as the Galah and the Western Long-billed Corella are extending their range in the Wheatbelt and are competing with and excluding Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoos from traditional nest hollows.
You can help protect our Cockatoos:
  • Protect existing hollows
  • Protect remnant vegetation and banksia heathlands that support cockatoos

How can I help wildlife in my garden?

Pets away while possums play program

Celebrating responsible pet owners!

‘Pets Away, Possums Play’ is a campaign designed to remind pet owners that keeping pets (especially cats and dogs) contained at night reduces injury and death to the critically endangered Western Ringtail Possum, and has the ripple effect of protecting other urban native wildlife.

A Geocatch Program GeoCatch

How to make a Possum Drey

Possum Friendly Plants

Trees

Agonis flexuosa (WA Peppermint)

  • Medium sized tree, 15m X 10m
  • Weeping habit, narrow aromatic leaves
  • Prolific white flowers in clusters Sept-to Dec
  • Most soils, primary food source for W. R. P

Callistachys lanceolata (Wonnich)

  • Small tree, 8m X 8m
  • Lanceolate leaves,
  • Clusters of yellow pea flowers on ends of branches
  • Prefers winter-wet conditions
  • Most soils except beach sand
  • Good possum habitat

Melaleuca cuticularis (Saltwater Paperbark)

  • Small tree, 6m X 5m
  • Fine greyish leaves,
  • Clusters of white fluffy flowers Aug-Oct
  • White papery bark, prefers moist sites
  • All soils, very salt tolerant
  • Primary W.R.P habitat in Coastal Wetlands

Hakea oleifolia (Olive Leafed Hakea)

  • Small tree, 6m X 4m
  • Broad prickly leaves,
  • Clusters of white, Perfumed Flowers. July-Sept
  • All soils, salt and wind tolerant
  • Good nectar source

Eucalyptus erythronema (Red Mallee)

  • Small tree, 4m X 3m
  • Smooth coppery bark,
  • Flowers red, pink or white in profusion
  • Most soils,
  • Good nectar source
  • Ornamental

Hakea petiolaris (Sea Urchin Hakea)

  • Small tree/large shrub 4m X 3m
  • Large leathery grey leaves with prominent veins.
  • Large clusters of Purple and Cream flowers March to May
  • Good nectar source
  • Ornamental
  • Most Soils

Large Shrubs

Calothamnus quadrifidus var teretifolius (One Sided Bottlebrush)

  • Large shrub, 4m X 3m
  • A local wetland form of a widespread variable species,
  • prefers winter-wet soils and ironstone (not for beach sand)
  • good forage and nectar source
  • red one sided bottlebrush flowers, Aug-Nov

Taxandria linerarifola (Swamp Tea Tree)

  • Large shrub 4m X 4m
  • Semi-weeping habitat
  • Cluster of white flowers July-Nov
  • Prefers winter-wet soils
  • Good habitat and forage

Melaleuca viminea (Mohan)

  • Large shrub 4m X 3m
  • Fine greyish foliage,
  • Cream bottlebrush flowers, Nov -Dec
  • Most soils upright, dense growth habit
  • Tolerates most soils (esp. salty and waterlogged)
  • Good forage and harbourage for W. R.T.

Medium Shrubs

Acacia myrtifolia (Willow Leafed Wattle)

  • Medium shrub 2m X 1m
  • Bright green foliage
  • Pale yellow pom-pom flowers in clusters July to Oct
  • Most soils except beach sand
  • Good forage
  • Fast growing

Astartea scoparia (Autumn Tea Tree)

  • Medium shrub 2m X 2m
  • Weeping habit
  • Profuse small white/pink flowers Jan-May
  • Most soils except Alkaline
  • Prefers winter-wet
  • Good forage

Kunza baxteri (Baxter’s Kunzea)

  • Medium shrub 3m X 3m
  • Dense habit, dark green foliage
  • Large red bottlebrush flowers June-Sept
  • Most soils except Alkaline
  • Good nectar and Forage

Kunzea ciliata (Pink Kunzea)

  • Dense shrub 2m X 2m
  • Fine foliage
  • Clusters of Pink Pom-Pom flowers Sept-Nov and Feb-April
  • Most soils
  • Good nectar and forage

Melaleuca lateritia (Robin Redbreast Bush)

  • Spreading Shrub 2m X 2m
  • Narrow leaves
  • Large orange – red bottlebrush flowers intermittently Oct-March
  • Good forage and nectar
  • Most soils except alkaline

Callistemon glaucus (Albany Bottlebrush)

  • Upright shrub 2m X 1m
  • Large greyish leaves
  • Large dark-red bottlebrush flowers Sept-Nov
  • Most soils except alkaline
  • Good nectar and forage

Melaleuca teretifolia (Needle Leafed Paperbark)

  • Variable shrub 3m X 3m
  • Long needle like leaves
  • Profuse clusters of white pom-pom flowers on old wood (sometimes pink) Nov-Dec and Feb-March
  • Most soils, tolerates waterlogging
  • Good forage and nectar

Taxandria fragrans (Fragrant Tea Tree)

  • Dense shrub 3m X 2m
  • Fine foliage
  • Masses of crinkle, white perfumed wax flowers Feb-May
  • Popular cut flower
  • Most soils except alkaline
  • Good forage and nectar

Templetonia retusa (Cockies Tongue)

  • Upright shrub 2m x 1m
  • Rounded leaves
  • Large red pea shaped flowers June to Sept
  • Most soils except waterlogged
  • Salt and wind tolerant
  • Good nectar source

Spyridium globulosum (Basket Bush)

  • Dense shrub 3m X 2m
  • Dark green leaves with white reverse
  • Profuse clusters of cream flowers with odd smell
  • Most soils, lime, salt and wind tolerant
  • Important nectar source for W.R.P

* W.R.P = Western Ringtail Possum

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