Possums pose a major threat to New Zealand’s biodiversity. They compete with native birds for habitat and for food such as insects and berries, by disturbing nesting birds, and eating their eggs and chicks.


The Australian brush tailed possum was introduced into New Zealand in 1837 to establish a fur trade. The possum is recognised as the main cause of Tuberculosis (Tb) infection in cattle and deer herds.

Management and control 

Possums are best controlled by shooting, poisoning or trapping. The Department of Conservation (DOC) controls possums on the conservation estate. OSPRI is responsible for managing and implementing the National Pest Management Strategy for Bovine Tb.

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