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The Biota of Lake Tyers

Mammals - Marsupials - Ringtails

Our Ringtail Possums
Ringtail Nest at Lake Tyers Beach  In the summer of 2012 a possum had nested in the base of our pedestal BBQ with leaves from a Grevillea sp. nearby, Later in the year I decided to make it more habitable, and added a plastic flap to it.Ringtails at Lake Tyers Beach
We had some human visitors recently so we opened it up to show off our marsupial resident, and also because I wanted a photo of him (her?). So when we got the BBQ out removed the flap, (and yes we use it with the possums in the bottom - it does not heat up, in fact the gas bottle will get quite cool with the escaping gas)
 we found a whole family!!!!  Two adults and two young!!  We saw them clamber out later in the night and go off foraging for leaves and flowers. They just groomed themselves on the deck first and headed off.  They hardly moved when I took the cover off so they were easy to photograph!!! I was really amazed, like REALLY amazed. Scientific name is Pseudocheirus peregrinus
Ringtails at Lake Tyers Beach Ringtails at Lake Tyers Beach
 We have seen Ringtails make leaf nests in the tops of trees on our westerly neighbours' adjacent vacant, but tree'd, block.  We have observed them on summer evenings clambering around and calling each other in the tree tops.  So we probably have some relatives of them in our BBQ base. It is interesting that their nest is on our 2nd floor decking here, and yet even though we have 2 cats (sorreeey) with the entrance easily accessible to them, the cats give the possums a wide berth, only going near for a quick sniff from time to time. We keep a strict curfew on the cats after about 5-6pm, so the cats not out when the possums would be most vunerable ie leaving from/returning to their stainless steel condo' Here is a link provided by the Australian Museum to an excellent possum site.

The other morning I was wanting to make a call on the mobile and the air was still and calm and I thought I will sit out on the deck in full view of the Nowa Nowa telephone tower and guarantee good reception.  My dear wife, Liz had put our deck chairs out and I took a liking to the one closest to Daff and Beck's.  It looked a bit rumpled and not quite open enough to just drop into, so I thought I had better get the cloth covers straightened before I drop from a great height into a relaxed and fuzzy outlook of our great view.  As I rearranged the cover I felt something squirm and before I knew it a Ringtail possum had revealed itself, hiding under the covers but on the seat, just about where I was about to plonk my massive weight.  Even though I then left it alone, I had obviously rattled the Ringtail and it appeared at the bottom of the chair and on the decking.  It has a very primitive idea of hiding.  It appears that if the possum can't see anyone else, then they can't see the possum.  However the following picture proves this wrong :-)
Ringtail Possum under a Deck Chair
The dear little thing stayed this way for 20mins or so.