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 native 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.