Possums are small nocturnal marsupials and are native to Australia. They are good at climbing trees and jumping from branch to branch.

Animal Profile



Possums can live for up to 11 years.


Because they live in trees, possums are great climbers. They can even jump up to four metres to reach a neighbouring branch.


Possums usually make a clicking noise to communicate with one another. They may also grunt, screech, growl and hiss.


Possums are wild animals. They are nocturnal, which means they sleep during the day and are active during the night.


A possum’s diet consists mainly of plants, including leaves, flowers and fruits.

Possums in New Zealand

Possums were introduced to New Zealand from Australia in the 1800s in the hopes of establishing a fur trade. New Zealand was free from predators and there was plenty for possums to eat, so the possum population thrived.

Did you know?

Although considered a pest in New Zealand, possums are sentient beings who have their own thoughts and can feel pleasure and pain.

Possum problem

Possums are not evil or bad. It is not their fault that they are able to cause harm to native populations. Like many introduced animals such as stoats, cats and rabbits, they are in an environment where the native plants and animals have had no need to compete with possums.

Did you know?

Using poison on a sentient being is cruel. It can take possums between 6-18 hours to die a painful death when dosed with certain poisons.