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Ringtail Possum

It is unlikely that many wildlife gardens will host kangaroos, koalas and wombats but there are a number of small mammals that may take up residence, including antechinus, possums, bandicoots, bats and bush rats.

Possums and Gliders

Possums are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975 and must not be harmed in any way. Refer to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning for options on how to manage possums - Managing Possums

Knox City Council do not hire out cages for trapping possums for relocation. Trapping and relocating of possums is no longer considered an effective way of dealing with unwanted roof residents. It seldom solves the problem, since another possum usually moves in to the vacated territory. The captured and released possum may displace other wildlife such as owls or gliders.

For Injured Possums RSPCA Ph: 9224 2222
Do not attempt to handle a possum that is injured with bare hands. Protect your own hands and body, wrap the possum in an old towel, over the face as well, to allow it to feel safe in the dark.

Possums can be a nuisance if they are eating your favourite things in the garden and/or using your roof as an exercise yard or bed. If you wish to remove possums from buildings (eg. roof cavities), wait until night time when they are likely to be outside and block all entry/exit points. Consider contacting a registered/licensed pest controller to close off building and roof cavity access points.

Baby Sugar Glider
Baby Sugar Glider
Brushtail Possum
Brushtail Possum
Forest Bat
Forest Bat


Victoria is home to 22 species of bats, which are the only flying mammals. Whilst many people are familiar with the Grey-headed Fruit Bats, the smaller bat species are less well known. Bats can play an important role in maintaining the health of the environment. Most species are insectivorous, consuming up to half their body weight in insects each night and sheltering in tiny nooks and crannies during the day. They play a vital role in controlling invertebrate populations and are welcome in any wildlife garden.

Tree hollows, foliage, roofs, eaves and bark provide suitable roosting sites. If there is a shortage of such sites, bat boxes can be placed under branches or pieces of loose bark. Bats enter a box from underneath so it is necessary to have a small gap at the bottom. Rough pieces of hessian allow bats to grip the insides. See 'Nest Boxes' below for further information on suitable bat boxes.

Antechinus, Rats and Mice

A number of small native mammals, such as the antechinus, resemble feral mice and rats. It can be a challenge to determine whether the dark furry objects that scurry past your feet are welcome natives or hostile ferals.

Antechinus are small, native carnivorous marsupials and are often mistaken for common field mice. They are mostly nocturnal, hunting at night for small invertebrates like centipedes, crickets and sometimes larger animals like birds and reptiles. They are unlikely to eat stored foods.

Some clues in picking the differences between natives and ferals are:

  • feral rats tend to have long, thin ears, while natives have short or rounded ears.
  • the tails of feral rats are longer than their bodies.
  • feral mice are often seen in large numbers. Native animals tend to be thinly distributed.
  • feral mice have a well known 'mousy' smell.

Unfortunately, it is not easy to get rid of feral rats and mice. Poisons and traps will kill and injure many species, not just the ones you want to dispose of. Remove food scraps from the gardens and destroy any nest sites you come across.

Nest Boxes

Next boxes can provide additional habitat in gardens. Information about next boxes can be found on our Nest Box web page.

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