Green Ringtail Possum
January 9, 2012 by staff
Green Ringtail Possum, RINGTAIL possums were having a tough enough time surviving in the 21st century before last month’s bushfires wiped out entire populations of the endangered marsupials, Busselton Possum Centre president Uta Wicke says.
And so a local caravan park with green leanings has stepped into help, with a donation of $500.
Peppermint Park Eco Village and Holiday Park counts a number of ringtails as permanent residents, and staff work hard to make sure the human visitors put the possums first.
Director Craig Robbins has embraced ecologically sensitive practices wherever possible, including the use on non-toxic biodegradable cleaning products, maintaining a peppermint tree planting program to ensuring an ongoing supply of food for the possums, and above all educating visitors to the park.
Uta said the donation would be used to buy much needed equipment and supplies.
However, she said the impact of the bushfires in the Margaret River shire had devastated some of the regions healthiest populations, wiping out two generations.
“The fires could not have come at a worse time, when the young possums were just out of the pouch – they didn’t stand a chance,” Uta said.
“I really fear we have lost the best habitats and the possums will be extinct in those areas.
“We have also lost a lot of the area we were using to release recovered possums into before the fires, this will really cause problems because they are territorial and an area can only support a certain number of possums.
“I have been asking the Department of Conservation (DEC) to burn in the autumn rather than during the spring breeding season, and now the worst has happened.”
While Uta knows the impact will be far reaching, it is business as usual at the Possum Centre, as she and her dedicated volunteers work to save the remnants of the endangered population.
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