Brushtail Possum What is a Brushtail Possum?

Photo: Bushtail possum at night

The brushtail possum is a semi-arboreal, nocturnal marsupial that weighs between 1.2-4.5 kg. The male is generally larger than the female. Its fur is thick and woolly and varies from silver-grey, brown, black, to cream. It has a bushy prehensile tail which it uses to grasp onto branches.

The brushtail possum is mostly solitary but it is a social animal and remains in contact with its group through sounds and scents. It lives to about 13 years of age.

Possums of Australia

Brushtail Possum - Habitat Where Does the Brushtail Live?

The brushtail possum is found throughout Australia but predominately along the east coast. Its natural habitat is in forests and woodlands but is frequently found in urban areas too, where it creeps into house ceilings, etc and can be quite a nuisance.

Brushtail Possum - Diet What Do Brushtails Eat?

Photo: Bushtail possum and baby feeding

The brushtail possum is a folivore, meaning it prefers eating leaves but supplements its diet other foods such as grasses, herbs, flowers, fruits and insects.

Brushtail Possum - Reproduction Brushtail Babies

Photo: Bushtail possum - baby riding on back

The Brushtail possum is sexually mature within a year. Between 1-4 young are produced in each litter. They attach teats in their mother’s pouch for four months after which they ride on their parents' backs for about two weeks before they are fully independent.

Brushtail Possum - Threats and Predators What Kills Brushtails

bushtail possum

Photo: Bushtail possum on branch

The major environmental threat to this animal is habitat fragmentation with the clearing of forests. Predators include kookaburras, owls, goannas, snakes, quolls and feral cats.

Humans steal baby Brushtails and raise them as pets or sell them on the illegal black market.

Brushtail Possum - Conservation Status Are Brushtails Endangered?

The Brushtail is not a threatened species. They are common throughout their habitat.