Australian Possums

In Australia, there are over 30 species of possums. They are broken roughly into 5 groups with around 5 species not directly related to the other groups. Possums are found all over Australia except in the very dry arid interior. The depend heavily on naturalised tracts of native trees, heathlands. Some species are very specific right down to the stag tree needed. Others are generalists. We have the smallest possum and glider in the world.

The Brush tailed Possum and Common Ring – Brush tailed have even been introduced into New Zealand. Unfortunately being declared a pest.

Pygmy Possums

Mountain Pygmy Possum Burramys parvus
NSW and Victoria, high altitude regions. Survives in alpine regions, will dormant over winter.

Long-tailed Pygmy Possum Cercartetus caudatus
Queensland. Lives in high canopy rainforests.

Southwestern Pygmy Possum Cercartetus concinnus
New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria
Thrives in dense heathland low shrubs.

Tasmanian Pygmy Possum Cercartetus lepidus
New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria
Forages for invertebrates and nectar.Eastern Pygmy Possum, Cercartetus nanus
Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria
Size is 60 – 75mm body length and may weigh as
Size is 75 – 110mm body length and may weigh as much as 45g. Feeds largely on pollen and nectar off Banskias, Callistemons etc.

Brush – tail Possums 

Northern Brush-tail Possum Trichosurus arnhemensis
Northern territory and Western Australia (inc Barrow Island). Does not have a bushy tail! Adapts well to human made changes, similar to Common Brush tail in habits.

Short-eared Possum Trichosurus caninus
North of Sydney, New South Wales.
Little is known.
Mountain Brush-tail Possum Trichosurus cunninghami
▪    New South Wales and Victoria
▪    Lives in forests, swamplands and high altitude regions.

Coppery Brush-tail Possum Trichosurus johnstonii
▪    Atherton Tablelands of FNQ
▪    Restricted but similar to other brush tails but seems to live I high canopy trees.

Common Brush – tail Possum Trichosurus vulpecula
South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland
Forages for plants, shoots, leaves and flowers. Will adapt to eat almost anything.

Ring – tailed Possums

Rock-haunting Ringtail Possum Petropseudes dahli
Found in Western Australia through Darwin and far Northern territory and just over border of northern Queensland.
Live sin small groups prefers sandstone woodland.

Common Ringtail Possum Pseudocheirus peregrinus
Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia.
Forages widely and heavily associated with human dwellings and/or gardens.

Cinereus Ringtail Possum Pseudochirulus cinereus
North eastern Queensland (Carbine, Mt Thornton and Windsor range)
Restricted and occurs in isolated populations.

Herbert River Ringtail Possum Pseudochirulus herbertensis
Far North Queensland (From Ingham to West of Cairns).
Nocturnal and forages for foliage, at night in dense foliage.

Green Ringtail Possum Pseudochirops archeri
Far North Queensland (Paluma – Mt Windsor)
Nocturnal and forages for foliage, at night in dense foliage.