Common Brushtail Possum

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Common Brushtail Possum

Trichosurus vulpecula


Nocturnal. Sleeps in tree hollows or similar protected places, including ceilings of buildings. The most abundant Australian possum, often living with humans. Can live for 11 years in the wild. Starts breeding at 1 year of age, with usually a single young born.  The mother needs to take care of the young for at least 7 months. 


Details Description
Type
Mammal
Group
Marsupial
Identifying Characteristics

Body fur colour varies across Australia. In Victoria mostly silver-grey to grey-brown above and white-cream underneath. Tail prehensile, thick and black. Black markings around the eyes and nose. Body up to 50 cm, tail up to 40 cm.

Distinctive Markings

Thick black tail, ears longer than wide, dark markings around eyes and a pink nose.

Diet

Omnivore. Eats a variety of plants, leaves, fruits and flowers but sometimes eats nestling birds.

Habitat

Open dry eucalypt forest, woodlands, suburban areas.

Bites/Sting
test
Sounds
A loud series of nasal coughs and hisses.
Taxonomy
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Mammalia
Order
Diprotodontia
Family
Phalangeridae
Genus
Trichosurus
Species
vulpecula
Widespread over northern, eastern, and south-western Australia and Tasmania, with scattered populations in arid central Australia.

Distribution maps indicate current and historic locations where species have been sighted.

Source: Atlas of Living Australia

Conservation Status
DEPI Advisory List
Not listed
FFG Act
Not listed
EPBC Act
Not listed

The conservation status of species is listed within Victoria and Australia.

The Department of Environment and Primary Industry (DEPI) Advisory List consists of non-statutory advisory lists of rare or threatened flora and fauna within Victoria.

The Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (FFG Act) lists threatened species in Victoria. Under the Act, an Action Statement is produced for each listed species.

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) is the Australian Government’s key piece of environmental legislation, listing nationally threatened native species and ecological communities.

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