Skip to main content

Preserving Western Ringtail Possums: Capes Foundation and WRAG Collaborate for Conservation 

By December 11, 2023Capes Foundation

Responding to the recent spate of hot weather and the forecast of a hotter-than-usual summer, the Western Ringtail Action Group (WRAG), in collaboration with the Capes Foundation, has undertaken vital initiatives to ensure the survival and well-being of the critically endangered Western Ringtail Possums. 

Over the past three years, the Capes Foundation has made a substantial contribution to possum conservation by selling Western Ringtail Possum soft toys at Capes Foundation attractions, as well as the Margaret River and Busselton Visitor Centres. This initiative has gained considerable momentum, with over 650 toy possums sold, reflecting a positive and enthusiastic response from both the local community and visitors to the region. 

The most recent proceeds from these sales have been directed toward an important cause: the ‘First Aid for Possums’ course. Developed in response to a pressing need identified by members of WRAG, this course aimed to elevate the standard of care and training provided to Western Ringtail Possums. Dr. Richard Lucas from Busselton Vet Hospital and Dr. Felicity Bradshaw led the training, tailored specifically for 51 wildlife rehabilitators representing six rehabilitation groups across the South West. 

Designed to address real-life scenarios, the comprehensive course content delved into various critical aspects, including possum welfare, emergency management and triage, burns, broken bones, pain management, bloating, gut biome, bandaging, and fluid administration. This specialised training equips wildlife rehabilitators with the necessary skills to better attend to distressed possums and manage their rehabilitation effectively. 

Steve Harrison, Director of the Capes Foundation, praised the impact of this collaboration on the regional wildlife rehabilitation community. “The dedication and support from the Capes Foundation and WRAG have been instrumental in facilitating this crucial training. It underscores the shared vision of ensuring the well-being and conservation of the Western Ringtail Possums,” said Steve. 

Organised by GeoCatch, Project Officer Nicole Lincoln was impressed with the level of interest from the animal rehabilitation community. “We had a great turnout from Geo Bay Wildlife Rescue Inc, FAWNA, Possums R Us, Dunsborough & Busselton Wildlife Care, Bridgetown Wildlife Rescue, and FAWNA Mandurah. The training ensured that all groups have access to the same current first aid procedures, information, and knowledge,” said Nicole. 

Nicole expanded on what to do if you find an injured possum or other native wildlife. “Call the Wildcare Helpline 9474 9055. They will advise if the injured animal needs to be taken to a vet or wildlife carer. Injured wildlife should be kept in a safe, dark, and warm place until they can be handed over to a wildlife carer. Use a towel or similar to pick it up and place it in a secure, well-ventilated box in a quiet, dark place. Do not feed the animal or give it water unless you have been advised to do so,” said Nicole. 

The Capes Foundation and WRAG will continue to advocate and invest in projects vital for the preservation of these endangered species. The ongoing sales of the Western Ringtail Possum soft toys are part of a continuing regional partnership between the Capes Foundation division of the Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association and the Western Ringtail Action Group. The soft toys are still available for purchase from the Capes Foundation attractions, including the Margaret River caves, as well as the Busselton and Margaret River Visitor Centres, with $10 from every sale going to possum conservation projects. 

For more information about MRBTA’s Capes Foundation Division, visit Capes

For more information about GeoCatch, visit