Head & Body length: 30-35cm.
The Ringtail possum is an agile climber, using its tail as a false hand it can climb even slender branches, when the tail is not in use it is curled in a tight coil, it is also used for carrying nesting material.
The Ringtail lives in rainforests, eucalypt forests, shrubby woodland, and have adapted to suburban gardens. Food consists mainly of eucalypt leaves, fresh new buds of natve trees, flowers and fruit. It is probably the best known possum to most 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 dissapearing from our landscape, the ringtail will also build a spherical nest called a drey, it is made from leaves and shredded bark.The ringtail is not particularly agressive and territory may overlap, having dreys in close proximity to each other, the male will however defend his territory from other males specially if food is scarce.
The ringtail is only active at night, being strictly nocturnal. Sexual maturity is reached at 12 months og age, breeding takes place from March to November, the female has 4 teats, but normally only has 2-3 young. They stay in the pouch untill about 4 months old, then mum carries them on her back, or leave them in the drey whilst she forages for food at night. The young are weaned at 6 months of age and become independant 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.
Updated January 19, 2014