and NATIVE WILDLIFE
Possums & Native Wildlife
There are two main types of possums in the Sydney region - ring tail possums and brush tail possums. These, along with many other wildlife species are protected, so in our backyards you will find there is a fantastic array of not only possums, but other wildlife around!
Ring tail possums are small sized marsupials (weighing between 600-1100grams) that are shy and make nests called ‘Dreys’ in thick foliage.
Brush tail possums are a larger possum weighing between 2-4.5kg when adults, and they are well adapted to living in urban areas.
Brush tail possums can sometimes nest in house eaves or rooves. In this case we recommend you contact Sydney Wildlife or WIRES for advice. Remember if you choose to relocate the possum, it must be within 50 metres of the capture site and at dusk otherwise it is illegal.
Possums often require our help when they are hit by a car or attacked by a cat or dog. Even what looks like a small bite wound can cause substantial damage underneath, as well as infection. If you suspect a possum has been attacked or is sick, it is best to seek veterinary advice.
What do I do if I find an injured/dead possum?
If you find an injured adult possum, particularly Brush tail, first of all be careful, they can bite! If safe to do so, place a towel over it and scoop it up into a box and it to your local veterinary practice. Keep it dark and quiet and do not try to feed it.
If you find an injured or dead female possum, always check her pouch for a joey. Sometimes the joeys can be outside of the pouch or on the surrounding ground area as well. If it is a Ringtail possum and you find a Joey, please look again for a second one because ring tail possums almost always have twins.
If you do find a possum joey, and the mother is not alive or able to be found, there are three basic rules to remember; Warm, Dark, and Quiet. Place the joey in something warm and supportive such as a glove or a sock with a rubber band to seal the end. Too much light and human contact will be a cause of stress for the joey, so try to keep handling to a minimum. Noise can also cause stress to joeys and possums, so it's best to keep children at a safe distance and place the possum in a quiet room. If you need to transport the possum or joey to the vet, remember to turn your car radio off.
The Northern Beaches is one of the last strongholds for bandicoots in the Sydney region. The most common is the Long Nosed Bandicoot. The Northern Brown and Southern Brown Bandicoot are both endangered and have only been recorded in the Ingleside area. All bandicoots can be distinguished by their long tapering snouts. If you came across a sick or injured bandicoot, check for joeys or pouch young, and call Sydney Wildlife or WIRES.