Friday 9 October 2015

A Shortage of Baby Possums

Given the last few posts on this blog, you would have thought that this place would currently be overrun with cute baby possums, and you might be wondering where all of the photos are.

Kyoo back-riding on Kiki as they leave Box 4 - 19th Sept 2015

Unfortunately, there hasn't been much to see.

Red (Ruby's baby) has only been seen once. This isn't a worry because Ruby generally doesn't bring her babies to the house. It's possible she only brought Red because it was unsafe to leave him/her alone at the time.

More worryingly, Puck (Sasha's baby) hasn't been seen for around a month, although Sasha continues to visit regularly. It's quite normal to see a mother brushtail turn up without her baby (I suspect this is part of the process of training the young one to fend for itself), but rarely more than three or four nights in succession.

We do (did?) have the unusual situation here where there were two adult female brushtails with babies at the same time, so it's possible that Sasha has devised some unusually effective strategy to keep Puck away from what is presumably Kiki's territory. Unfortunately, I think it's more likely that Puck has fallen victim to some mishap.

To further add to the shortage of baby possums, Kiki and Kyoo have been keeping away from the house as well. They turned up here last night after sleeping in Box 7, but prior to that hadn't visited the house in nearly three weeks.

This might be a case of Kiki teaching Kyoo about finding possum foods, and possibly also showing him territories far from the house, where he may have to move when he grows up, however, it could also be that there are pythons around and Kiki is playing safe.

There haven't been any carpet pythons actually seen here for a while, but they can be quite difficult to spot if they aren't moving around and they are known to be active elsewhere.

One argument in favour of the presence of pythons is that the smaller possums (all of the ringtails and to a lesser extent Toto) have been visiting much less frequently. Previously, it would be normal to have two or three different ringtails visit every night, but now it's rare to see even one (Wasabi was the last one seen and is in good health). Of course, it's now well into Spring, so there are no doubt lots of delicious buds and the like on offer in the garden, and possibly the possums are simply preferring the natural vegetation to human foods.

Finally, Toto's baby is too small to making an appearance any time soon.

Toto, showing an unfurred baby in her pouch - 22nd Sept 2015

1 comment:

  1. We've' got lots of snakes here at the moment too. Strangely this is first year we've not had a python visit the roof regularly. Instead we've got green tree snakes and brown tree snakes, and they are coming in very close. So our possums often have very twitchy noses when they visit :)