Ringtail Possum What is a Ringtail Possum?

The Ringtail possum is a small arboreal, nocturnal marsupial mammal that holds its tail in a tight coil. Hence its name  “ringtail” possum.

The ringtail possum is about the size of a cat, and weighs between 0.5–1.0kg and is approximately 30–35 cm in length. Its fur is grey to black with a reddish-brown tinge with white patches behind its ears and a lighter coloured underbelly. It has a prehensile tail with a distinctive white tip, which it uses to grab onto branches. It has two thumbs on each its front paws, that assist in climbing.

The ringtail possum is mostly solitary but it is a social animal and communicates with soft, high-pitched twittering calls.

Possums of Australia


Ringtail Possum - Habitat Where Does the Ringtail Live?

The ringtail possum is common throughout the temperate and tropical regions of the east coast of Australia, Tasmania, and south-west Western Australia. It prefers dense-brush forests. It nests in tree branches and hollows lined with shredded bark or grass. It sometimes creeps into the ceilings of houses where it can become a nuisance.


Ringtail Possum - Diet What Do Ringtails Eat?

The common ringtail possum feeds on the young leaves of a wide variety of eucalypts plants, flowers (it loves rose buds), fruits, and nectar. During the day, the ringtail possum produces faecal pellet (poo) that it then eats. This reingestion allows the possum to live on low nitrogen eucalyptus leaves and provides the animal with much of its gross energy and allows it to conserve water and urinate less.


RingtailPossum - Reproduction Ringtail Babies

The ringtail 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.


Ringtail Possum - Threats and Predators What Kills Ringtails

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 Ringtails and raise them as pets or sell them on the illegal black market.


Ringtail Possum - Conservation Status Are Ringtails Endangered?

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