Re: Possums as Bird Predators

Subject: Re: Possums as Bird Predators
From: Ian Temby <>
Date: Mon, 2 Jun 1997 11:26:13 -0712 (EDT)
On Fri, 30 May 1997 22:55:52 -0700 benson <> 
>A New Zealnd collegue sent me newspaper article about the release of the
>Kokako on The island of Tiritiri in Hauraki Gulf.
>Apparently there are an estimated 2000 birds in New Zealand but only 400
>breeding pairs. The reason for their decline is stated in this story as
>habitat loss and predation of nests by rats and possums?
>Are possums predators of birds in Australia or is this purely a New
>Zealnd phenomon?

Dear Allan

I do not know how commonly possums prey on birds in Australia, but it certainly 
does happen.  I recall many years ago hearing a pair of Spotted Pardalotes that 
were nesting in a hole in the wall of an old stable where I was living sounding 
agitated.  I went inside (the nest was accessible from inside the stable) and I 
a Brushtail Possum sitting on its haunches with a pardalote nestling in each 
paw, one of them half eaten.

This occurred during the day, but there was little light inside, and possums 
the stables as a denning area on most days.

How often this occurs in bush areas I could not say, but pardalote nests, at 
least, would normally be inaccessible to possums.



Ian Temby
Wildlife Damage Control Officer
Secretary, BIRDS Australia Parrot Association
Flora and Fauna Branch
Department of Natural Resources and Environment
4/250 Victoria Parade

Phone   613 9412 4429
Fax     613 9412 4586

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