Wildcare Inc. NT Possums
Wildcare NT Inc.
Female northern brushtail possums

Northern brushtail possums
Female northern brushtail possums

Living with Possums
We are extremely lucky to have such a diverse group of native birds, mammals and reptiles living in our backyards and surrounding areas. One native animal you may find in your backyard is the northern brushtail possum, which is protected under the Territory Parks and Wildlife conservation act 2000

Possum Visits
Due to land clearing and removal of natural hollow trees and logs, these nocturnal marsupials are being forced into urban areas. Possums often consider the dark sheltered areas of roofs a suitable nesting site and can be heard moving as they leave the roof after dark and return before dawn. Some people find possum inhabitation a nuisance

Preventing Possums
Wildcare recommends the following measures to help with your possum problems

  • Provide a nesting box in your backyard. (see below)
  • Locate and block access and exit points when you are sure all possums are out of the roof. Block up any gaps with suitable building materials. This is best done at night when the possum has left. Make a one way flap to allow the possums to leave the roof, but do not return
  • Remove the possum's access to the roof by lopping any overhanging branches
  • Do not hand feed any possums as this will attract more to your area
  • If you are unable to block the entry to your roof
  • Scatter camphor blocks or napthalene flakes inside the roof (do not mix these as this may cause a chemical reaction), possums do not like the smell
  • Place a light in the roof cavity for at least three consecutive nights to discourage the possum - being nocturnal possums prefer dark areas to sleep in

Artificial Nesting Boxes
Where nesting sites are not available, mammals and birds can use artificial nesting boxes. Brushtail possums prefer a deep box that has been cleared our after previous habitation. An entrance hole of 9-12cm is preferred and natural logs are better to use when building a box. A lip over the entrance hole is beneficial as it will not allow excess rain or light in. Boxes should be placed between four to eight metres above the ground and small holes drilled in the base to allow for drainage

Nesting boxes can be made out of most materials, but be careful of treated timbers and timbers painted with lead based paints (many animals chew on the edges of the boxes when marking their territory and lead base paints can poison them). With the Territory's high humidity and rainfall it is recommended that marine ply be used to make boxes. Nestboxes can be purchased from Wildcare

Removal of Possums
You should be aware that due to the protection of these animals, you are not permitted to trap and relocate these animals without a permit to do so. A special permit is required in the Northern Territory to remove them from your property and it is illegal and cruel to 'dump' then in another area where they will have little chance of survival.

For more information on relocation and rehabilitation contact
      Wildcare (08) 89 886 121 or call
      Wildlife Rescue on 0409 090 840

WANTED   Wildlife release sites
We are seeking suitable areas in which to release rehabilitated native animals. A description of suitable habitat is listed below

  • Flowering native scrubs
  • Property larger than 50 acres
  • Safe distance from road traffic, domestic pets and human activities
  • Multiple large old growth trees that have hollows (Woolybutt and Ironwood species)
  • Early burning regime with low intensity fires
  • Easy access with 4WD
  • Permanent water source (not essential)

If your property fits this description and you would like to help provide a home for native wildlife please contact Wildcare Inc on 89886121

Thank you


© 2008 | Last updated on 10 February 2008