Possums' EFFECT on the bush By torin, corey and hUgo

This is a classic example of what possums do to our native birds.

The brush tailed possum is the most common possum in New Zealand and just about the only species of possum in New Zealand. The brush tailed possum was introduced into New Zealand in 1850s by the Australians for a fur industry. It is now a great threat to New Zealand's native birds and plants. The brush tail possum is nocturnal like most possums and they feed on small mammals and birds like rats, mice, bird eggs and birds. But they mainly eat leaves, fruit and insects. The tail is thick and hairy on the top but is naked on the underside. The naked part of the tail is used for clinging onto branches and climbing. The are four colour variations brush tail possums come in; black, grey, brown and gold.

A mother possum with its young clinging onto its back

You will mainly see the brush tail possum around in the country and forest areas but they are mainly found in native forests and dense bush. They are a big threat to our native bush as they can shred our natives to bits.

This is some of the damage that possums are doing to our natives

Brush tail possums are mainly solitary but may share a den occasionally. Female possums can breed at any time of the year but they mainly breed around spring time. A female can only give birth to one at a time. A newborn possum is generally about 1.5 centimeters long and weighs only 2 grams. A new born brush tail possum will live inside its mothers pouch until it has enough hair to live on its mothers back. Once it is old enough and can live on its own it will leave its mother and live solitary. Brush tail possums are generally not aggressive towards each other. They communicate with clicks, grunts, hisses, alarm chatters and guttural noises. The brush tail possum has a head to body length of 32-52 centimetres and the males are generally bigger than the females in length.

This is a classic brush tail possums life.

The brush tail possum is the most common possum and is widely out of control in New Zealand. This is a big problem for the department of conservation as the wildlife(native birds and plants) is becoming extinct. The main ways of keeping possums under control in New Zealand are hunting/shooting, traps and poison.

Possums are very curious creatures and like to explore.

Possums are a massive danger to our native wildlife and we need to stop them. There are now only 50,000-60,000 kiwis on this earth and that's mostly because of possums! They are a massive threat to our natives. We need to stop them!

For more information about possums click on the button below

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Created with images by SouthernAnts - "Shattuck_C8512, Broulee, NSW"

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