Sheoak Woodlands: A Newly Identified Habitat for Western Ringtail Possums

Jordan C. Bader, Bronte E. Van Helden, Paul G. Close, Peter C. Speldewinde, Sarah J. Comer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although critically endangered western ringtail possums (Pseudocheirus occidentalis) have been recorded from a variety of vegetation types in southwestern Australia, the extent to which many of these vegetation types are occupied by the species remains unknown. We conducted spotlight surveys for western ringtail possums between March and April 2018 in Albany, southwestern Australia, to determine the species’ occupancy in 2 vegetation types. Using occupancy models, we demonstrated that sheoak (Allocasuarina fraseriana) woodlands, previously unrecognized as providing western ringtail possum habitat, support the species, although the median probability of their occupancy was lower than in marri (Corymbia calophylla) and eucalypt (Eucalyptus marginata and E. staeri) woodlands. Use of trees and other habitat components by western ringtail possums varied within and between vegetation types. Sheoak woodlands are likely critical for western ringtail possums and given the apparent flexibility in vegetation types used by the species, investigation of the potential value of other vegetation types for this species has conservation merit.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1254-1260
JournalJournal of Wildlife Management
Volume83
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Jul 2019

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