Trichosurus vulpecula


Family: Phalangeridae

Origin: Australia

Two possums on top of each other, crawling over some branches.
Possums were introduced in 1837 to establish a fur trade.
Photo credit: Ngā Manu Images

Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) status

  • Kawau — Eradication
  • Hauraki Gulf Controlled Area pest — Site-led
  • Waitākere Ranges Heritage Area priority status
  • Hauraki Gulf Controlled Area Notice pest

View more about the RPMP statuses

General description

Small marsupial with thick, bushy tail. Weighs between 1.4-6.4 kg and can be grey, brown or black in colour.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment:

  • You must not breed, distribute, release or sell any possum within the Auckland region.
  • In the future, all commercial transport operators moving goods or people to or among Hauraki Gulf islands will need to have a Pest Free Warrant.
  • Anyone intending to move a building to or among Hauraki Gulf islands must notify Auckland Council at least 10 working days prior to movement so that an inspection can be arranged.


Forest, shrubland, pasture, orchards, urban areas.

Impact on environment

Preys on invertebrates and native bird eggs and chicks, competes for cavities with cavity-nesting birds. Selective browsing on vegetation can eliminate preferred species, causing altered forest composition and canopy collapse of palatable species. Can act as a vector for bovine TB and compete with livestock for pasture.



If you see a possum on a pest-free island within the Tīkapa Moana/Hauraki Gulf, report it to Auckland Council at

Refer to the Pest animal control guidelines for information on how to control possums, or contact Auckland Council at

Close up of a possum from the front with its pink ears and snout.
Possums are omnivores.
Photo credit: Ngā Manu Images
An image from a night surveillance camera of a possum making its way up a tree.
Possums are nocturnal.
Photo credit: Hunua monitor