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Breeding season the ideal time to check out possum stunts

NOCTURNAL VISITORS: Ringtail possums often seek refuge in domestic households due to a loss of habitat.
NOCTURNAL VISITORS: Ringtail possums often seek refuge in domestic households due to a loss of habitat. Contributed

SOME find them cute and others find them a pest.

The presence of possums in domestic households is attributed to a loss of habitat and diet.

Breeding season also contributes to the increasing number of possums in our neighbourhood.

This provides an ideal opportunity to possum watch, and to also educate residents on protecting gardens and identifying species.

Look out for ringtail buddies at dusk, climbing overhead along the wires, or take a torch out and look for them rustling in the treetops looking for food or a mate.

Backyard Buddies is a free program run by Australia's Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife.

Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife chief executive officer Susanna Bradshaw said ringtail possums were "smaller and daintier" than their brushtailed counterparts.

"They don't tend to live in your roof like brushies sometimes do, as ringtails prefer to build themselves a cosy tree-nest out of sticks, called a drey," she said.

"Ringtails are a delight to watch. You often see them doing death-defying tightrope walks along powerlines.

"Unfortunately, if they touch two lines at once, they get zapped.

"If you ever see an injured possum, make sure you call your local wildlife carer."

For more information, phone a wildlife officer.

Residents can also phone a bush care co-ordinator at their local council.

Another option is to speak to a ranger at the nearest national park office.

Topics:  backyard buddies gladstone pets possums



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