Common ringtail possum
The Common ringtail possum is an agile climber, using its prehensile tail as a false hand it can climb even slender branches. The tail is also used for carrying nesting material.
Average weight is 700-1100gram, Head & Body length is 30-35cm and tail is 30-35cm long.
The Common ringtail possum lives in rainforests, eucalypt forests, shrubby woodland and have adapted to suburban gardens. Food consists mainly of eucalypt leaves, fresh new buds of native trees, flowers and fruit. It is probably the best known possum in NSW as it is commonly seen in back yards climbing trees at night looking for food.
The nest is usually in a hollow log lined with leaves, but as old trees are fast disappearing from our landscape, the ringtail will also build a spherical nest called a drey which is made from leaves and shredded bark. This possum is not particularly aggressive and territory may overlap, the male will however defend his territory from other males especially if food is scarce.
Ringtail possums are strictly nocturnal. Sexual maturity is reached at 12 months of age, breeding takes place from March to November, the female has 4 teats, but usually have 2-3 young. Joeys stay in the pouch until about 4 months old, then mum carries them on her back, or she may leave them in the drey whilst she forages for food at night. The young are weaned at 6 months of age and become independent at 8-12 months old.
Survival rate is diminished once they leave the pouch, predators are many and include dogs, cats, python snakes, foxes, the powerful owl and many are also killed on our roads by cars.