The Australian Possum

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For a creature that could be mistaken for a cute and cuddly cat or plush toy the possum can sure create a lot of trouble if they are introduced into the wrong areas. In Australia there are many factors that keep the possum’s population in check such as the huge amount of area that Australia covers, the wild dogs and cats that kill the possum and the hawks, owls and other birds of prey which feed on their young or the slow. The possum has sharp claws and very sharp teeth even though they prefer a diet of fruit there are still carnivorous and eat lizards, moths and other large insects that they can catch. In New Zealand the introduced possum has destroyed a great deal of the native trees and plants that the native wildlife of New Zealand need to survive. So not only are they destroying the forests but they are also indirectly killing off some of the animals of NZ. This is the bigger problem faced that some of the endangered species in NZ are in worse trouble now that the possum has arrived.

Much like the opossum of South America the Australian possum is one which likes to travel through the trees and interact with the human development though not actually the humans themselves. Domestic dogs and cats are also responsible for many deaths of the possums which are due to the fact that they come into the suburbs to feed and roost. There are several dozen species of the possum on Australia like the sugar gliders which are small and can glide from tree to tree and the brush tail possum which is bigger than most of the rest of the possums. Some of the manmade structures are also responsible for the early death of native Australian animals like the possum. Roads, highways and even streets are killing zones as the possums try to make their way to better foods supplies. If they cannot get through via the trees they will often use power lines or phone lines to cross the street seeming high and safe however the electricity that runs through these power lines kill many of the possums as they cross.