|A female Koomal or Common Brushtail Possum carrying her joey :-)|
The funny bridge strung across Beeliar Drive is designed for this animal, the beautiful Koomal or Common Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula). Recent surveys carried out in two local reserves revealed possums were present in one (Lake Kogolup), but not in the other (Yangebup Reserve). The fragmentation of wildlife habitat is one of the key reasons preventing some animals, particularly tree-climbing mammals, from moving around the landscape. The City of Cockburn therefore designed and installed a special 'possum bridge' to allow these excellent climbers to move across the road, and hopefully expand their population northwards. In order to inspire the next generation about possums, other wildlife and environmental education in general, the City supported a Re-Cyc-Ology Workshop at a local primary school, Mater Christi. This aimed to construct and install nest-boxes suitable for possums to enhance the habitat value of native bushland at Yangebup Reserve. So, with recycled materials and enthusisam, we headed to Mater Christi this morning to inspire some more kids!
The beautiful grassed workspace above was located outside one of the school's classrooms, and it provided the perfect environment for groups to work on assembling each of the 6 boxes. Then, after a lick of paint and some great discussions about the importance of tree-hollows as habitat, we set off into Reserve to install the boxes. Each one was hung on the trees using our usual tree-friendly, wire and hosepipe method. You can just make out in the below photo the entrance hole that is located at the rear of the box (against the tree), which makes it perfectly suited to the target species.
We are already looking forward to seeing who moves in! :)