Ringtail possum
Ringtail possum Sharon McGrigor

Death of ringtail possum and joey prompts warnings

SHORTER days have meant more cars on the road at dusk, dawn and dark, which leads to many nocturnal animals becoming victims on local roads.

There was a particularly sad case where a mother ringtail possum and her little joey were both found dead on Richmond Hill road.

On the Northern Rivers region there are predominantly have two types of possums. The ringtail possum (pictured) was a red-brown colour and has a long tail with a white tip. They are smaller in size than the brushtail possum, which can be black to grey in in colour.

As with all marsupials, it was very important to check any possum killed on the road. If female, there may be joeys in her pouch or nearby if they were riding on her back. In many cases the joeys can be saved.

While brushtail possums generally only have one baby at a time (very rarely they will have twins), the ringtail possum was likely to have 2-4 babies at any time. So always look around in case there was another joey nearby. Call WIRES for advice on how to check a pouch and to arrange a rescue.

Most importantly, always drive carefully at dawn and dusk and slow down in areas with bushland around the roadsides. A possum, wallaby or any nocturnal marsupial life might just be able to be saved.

An all-volunteer organisation, WIRES relies heavily on the generosity of caring people for support. All donations $2 and over are tax deductible. Now was also a great time to join WIRES and start learning to be a wildlife rescuer. 

The 24-hour hotline for all rescue, advice or membership calls on the Northern Rivers was 6628 1898 or go to http://wiresnr.org/Helping.html to find out how you can help.