The western ringtail possum is a rare and endangered species, which is unique to the south-west of Western Australia. Ringtails are special to Busselton and Dunsborough because this area has one of the most significant remaining populations.
At BIG4 Peppermint Park we celebrate our resident possums and are proud that, when other possum populations are under threat, the Peppermint Park tribe are growing and thriving.
The peppermint trees, after which BIG4 Peppermint Park is named, are unique to the Busselton region and are vital to the survival of the western ringtail possum. Up to 95% of a possum's diet can come from the peppermint trees. The trees also provide materials and a place for their dreys (nests), as well as shelter away from predators on the ground.
Our BIG4 Peppermint Park possum family totals 47, and has grown by a healthy 32% in the past year. So there are plenty of adult possums and their babies living around the park.
We ask guests to always respect the possums by not feeding or harassing them, and by steering clear of any dreys that you may see in our trees. As part of our care program, we do not accept visitor pets into the park.
Guests can learn more about the western ringtail possums, and join our possum activities including:
The western ringtail possum is characterised by its dark brown fur with a cream or grey chest and stomach, short rounded ears and very long, thin, white-tipped tail, with very short hair on the tail. A white tip on the tail is not a distinguishing feature for a ringtail possum as brushtail possums can also have a white-tipped tail as shown in the photos below. Brushtail possums can have a very bushy tail or a tail with hair that is the same length as the rest of the body, and the tail tip can be black or white. Both the ringtail and brushtail possum can curl their tails into a ring-like shape to hold on to branches.