Possums are a native fauna species that have learnt to adapt to the urban environment. They are one of the only large native mammals that can still be seen in the inner city and outer suburbs.
There are two species of possum within the Greater Melbourne area, the Common Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) and the Common Ringtail Possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus). Both species are nocturnal, sleeping during the day and becoming active at night. They feed on new leaves, flower buds, and fruit, as well many introduced plants that have been planted in gardens, yards and parks.
About the Brushtail Possum
The Common Brushtail Possum is the larger of the two possums and is a solitary animal that grows to about the size of a cat. It has grey fur, large pointed ears and a large, black, brush type tail.
Brushtail Possums usually spend their day sleeping in tree hollows. Hollows are holes found in the trunk or branches of trees. Instead of using a hollow the Ring Tail Possum builds a nest called a drey. Loss of natural habitat due to clearing for housing and industrial development has forced possums to move into domestic roofs and gardens.
As well as leaves, flower buds, and fruit, the Brushtail Possum will also eat bird’s eggs, baby birds and some types of fungi.