News - 09 May 2019

Western Ringtail Possum (WA)

Photo: Adrian Wayne/DBCA

ngwayir or Pseudocheirus occidentalis

Conservation status: CRITICALLY ENDANGERED (EPBC Act)

Uplisted since RFAs commended? YES; uplisted from ‘Vulnerable’ to ‘Endangered’ to ‘Critically endangered’ since the WA RFA was signed in 1998

EPBC Act recovery plan? YES


The Western Ringtail Possum (WRP) has gone from ‘Vulnerable’ to ‘Endangered’ to ‘Critically Endangered’ since the WA RFA was signed. It is at serious risk of extinction in the wild. There are very important populations still found in forests that are being logged or are planned to be logged—i.e., Upper Warren, Preston-Blackwood and west Manjimup areas (SEE: yellow area in map below).

“Logging, past, present and future: WRPs are more abundant in unlogged forest or where logging has been least intense; logging leads to local mortality including via increased feral cat predation. Ongoing regulation of logging activities is required in multiple use areas to management this potential threat. IMPACT: High—can halve the productive output of females...Barbara Jones’ expert opinion of the inferred/suspected numbers of mature individuals for 2006 (18 000, 10 years ago) and 2015 (3400) indicate a population size reduction of 80% or more in the past 10 years.”
SourceThreatened Species Scientific Committee 

Map 1: Sample of planned logging areas 2019-2020 that are likely to impact this species (WA)
Map 2: Key 'management zones' for Western Ringtail Possums (WA Dept. Parks and Wildlife. Draft Recovery Plan for Western Ringtail Possums (2014)

Full South West WA planned logging maps

Next: Swift Parrot

Our forest wildlife in crisis: the Swift Parrot is #13 of 20 Australian birds most at risk of extinction.