New Zealand Status: Introduced
Conservation Status: Pest Species
The brushtail possum is a nocturnal animal that is regarded as New Zealand's number one vertebrate pest in both economic and ecological terms.
Possums can be found all across NZ, living anywhere that provides shelter and a varied food supply. Forests and forest-pasture margins are major habitats.
Possums feed mainly on leaves, ignoring old leaves and taking only the best new growth including buds and flowers, fruits, ferns, bark and fungi. They compete with native birds for habitat and for food such as insects and berries. Possums disturb nesting birds and will eat eggs and chicks.
Possums also spread bovine tuberculosis.
© Geografpix Photography, Steve Reader