Western ringtail possum

The western ringtail possum – also known by its Noongar name Wawding – (Pseudocheirus occidentalis) is a critically endangered arboreal marsupial which is endemic to Our South West region of Western Australia. That means it’s found nowhere else on earth!


They have grey or dark brown coats with a distinctive, white-tipped tail. The total body length of adults (including the tail) is 30 to 40cm and they weigh up to 1.1kgs.

They are nocturnal herbivores, sleeping during the day in nests called dreys which they build in trees. Females can have up to 3 joeys at a time, but mostly it’s just one. They remain in their mother’s pouch for 3 months but are dependent on mum for the first seven months of life.

Historically the western ringtail possum’s range was much larger, living throughout Our South West’s forests. Nowadays they are found in only about 10% of their original range. There are 3 main possum populations left, with the one near the South West city of Busselton being the largest. Conservation efforts appear to have arrested the continued decline in recent years with work now focused on strategies that will support re-building numbers.

Across our 20-year history, we have undertaken an extensive catalogue of work in partnership with government, researchers and local landcare and wildlife groups to benefit western ringtail possums and address threats to their survival – particularly habitat loss and predation from introduced species like foxes and cats.

We’ve installed possum bridges, restored habitat, targeted predators and undertaken community education programs. 

What you can do to help the western ringtail possum

  • Plant native species in your garden to provide habitat and food for possums, particularly peppermint trees
  • If you have remnant bushland on your property, you can protect it by placing a voluntary management agreement or covenant on it
  • Protect your remnant bushland by using fencing and controlling weeds and feral animals, this will help native animals including ringtails
  • Help prevent possum injuries by keeping your pets inside or in your yard at night (cats and dogs) and drive carefully
  • Join your local community group which supports threatened species recovery.
Ringtail possum in a tree.

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