Brushtail and ringtail possum numbers are falling because of urbanisation. AWARE Wildlife Rescue president Sharon Bondy suggests what we can do to help these Australian natives survive and thrive. After all, we should all be able to get along, right?
Sharon explains: “Valuing native wildlife in our suburbs is important. Seeing possums not as invasive pests that need to be eradicated but part of Australian life is key to their survival. In the last 12 months AWARE Wildlife Rescue have tended to nearly 500 possums. Many have been negatively impacted by urban development, which reduces food sources and places for them to nest. As their habitat is fragmented, increased numbers of possums are being hit by cars as they are forced to cross roads in the search for food. Many become malnourished, then can’t produce milk for their babies, or they become prey for foxes, dogs and cats.”
One thing we can do to help is plant natives like eucalypts, bottlebrushes, tea-trees, banksias, lilly pillys, grevilleas, and wattles in our gardens. Not only will the possums have the correct food source, they’ll have housing too. If they’re in your roof, you could provide a nest box and place it in a tree close to your roof.
“You can obtain instructions on how to construct a nest box or where to find a nest box supplier from AWARE Wildlife Rescue or from DELWP (Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning). Possums are territorial, so if one adopts the nest box it is likely to keep others away from your roof and garden area,” continues Sharon.
Remember, brushtail and ringtail possums are Australian native nocturnal species. Become aware of how to live with them before they disappear. For ever.
AWARE WILDLIFE RESCUE
Emergency Hotline: 0412 433 727