Food of the opossum Trichosurus vulpecula in pastoral areas of Banks Peninsula, Canterbury

Stomach contents of possums obtained from pastoral lands on Banks Peninsula between November 1963 and August 1964 were analysed for pasture and non pasture plants. Although it was previously considered that opossums do not eat grass in any quantity, an examination of the food of the animals on Banks Peninsula shows that this is not so. Opossums graze frequently on grass and clover, throughout the year, even when other suitable foods are plentiful, as they were in most areas from which the sample was collected. Opossums collected in January 1964 from Summerhill, near Cust, as well as others from the roads in various pastoral districts in Canterbury, showed similar feeding habits to those on Banks Peninsula. With few exceptions, all the animals examined were in extremely good condition

Author D. P. Gilmore
Year 1965
Secondary title Proceedings of the New Zealand Ecological Society
Volume 12
Pages 10-13?