The expression “New Zealand
possum” is from time to time used in the United
States to distinguish between American opossums from
the Didelphidae family and New Zealand and
Australian possums from the Phalangeroidea family.
The two families of marsupials are related.
Australian and New Zealand possums are called
possums due to their resemblance to their American
Both species raise their offspring in
their pouches for the 1st 4 to 6 months of their
lives prior to indoctrinating them into the harsh
real world, and can be fearsome to come across in
the dead of night, as they are wont to hiss fiercely
to guard their territory.
Some experts find these little New Zealand critters very
cute, with their big ears, large hairy tails, and bold eyes.
Nevertheless, possums also possess sharp teeth and claws,
and can more than adequately defend themselves in combat.
They also impart a distinctive smell, due to musk
glands found behind their ears, and can oftentimes
be sensed before they are encountered. Possums
prefer to nuzzle in insulated, warm places like old
logs and barns, and will keep off damp and cold
whenever they possibly can.
Generally, American opossums are associated with
road kill while New Zealand possums are conceived to
be pernicious pests, and several efforts have been
attempted by the State and agencies of conservation
to get rid of them. New Zealand possums are not
indigenous to the country, and due to their ravenous
appetites and high rate of procreation, they wreak
serious harm to native fauna and flora.
In the first place, the New Zealand possums were
brought in from Australia in 1837 to start up an
industry in fur.
Before long, the possums rapidly ran wild and started to
wreak mayhem. Today, there are approximately seventy million
New Zealand possums eating their way through New Zealand’s
The possum is indigenous to Australia, where it has
established an ecological niche. Many plants in Australian
have developed natural defenses to defend from possums,
including sharp spines and bitter leaves.
Most plants in New Zealand are both defenseless and
tasty and possums will keep coming back to the same
tree until it stops producing edible foliage,
literally eating it to death.
Because there are no natural enemies and large
amounts of sources for food, possums have ravaged
New Zealand's indigenous animals and plants,
resulting in serious problems for conservationists.
Aside from killing trees and plants, which sabotages
habitat and food sources for indigenous species,
possums also transmit bovine tuberculosis, which can
infect domesticated livestock as well as wild
animals such as deer.
Aside from trying to curb the New Zealand possum population
with poison and birth control, they are also hunted down for
their luxurious fur which is soft. Major exports of New
Zealand are products made of possum fur, and many trade
organizations encourage New Zealand products from possum
If buyers must have apparels with products from animals in
them, possum fur from New Zealand is a wise choice, because
the creatures are snared rather than raised, and by buying
possum fur from New Zealand, buyers are also aiding in
preserving New Zealand's natural surroundings and fertile