Opossums liberated in the Westland National Park between 1924 and 1930 became established. Analysis of 12 months’ faecal samples (1974-75) showed that in the Waiho Valley opossums strongly preferred six plant species, but also ate others. Leaves were the most important food, though fragments of fruit, seed, bark, petiole, and invertebrates were found in the faeces. The preferred species included Metrosideros umbellata and Fuchsia excorticata. If these are drastically depleted by continued browsing, the abundance of birds that eat their nectar and fruit may also be reduced.
|Secondary title||New Zealand Journal of Agriculture|