Tuesday 30 April 2024

Update 30th April 2024

I apologise for not posting an update for a while. Possum TV still lives; it's just that a combination of other work and no unusual possum news have led me to not update the blog for a while.

But before I mention the possum news, I have a request to any possum carers or other people who might have treated possums for exudative dermatitis: Does anyone know of a vet who has taken over the role of Dr Jim Pollock in supplying Ceclor for treating possums with exudative dermatitis? If so, could you please contact me via email at possumtv@gmail.com

I have no possums requiring treatment at this moment, but it would be good to be prepared for when this happens.

The main possum news is that Joule has left the area. He left in March, which is seven months since he was first seen out of the pouch. This is a normal time for youngsters to seek their fortune.

Joule - 19th Feb 2024

Joule is a smart little possum with a good combination of boldness and prudence, and he should do well with whatever challenges he faces. Good luck, little one.

Joule - 11th Feb 2024

Joule - 11th Feb 2024

Joule had a few staring contests with Lumen before he left. These sometimes ended in chasings or minor scuffles. 

Joule (left) and Lumen (right) - 13th Jan 2024

Lumen (left) and Joule (right) - 4th Feb 2024

When I mentioned there being no unusual possum news, that in itself is unusual. Normally there would have been some Baby Possum Alerts already this year.

In the past, every female brushtail would have a new baby every six months. That changed last year when Blossom skipped a season and had Joule a year after her previous baby Rae. This year, all three of the females - Wink, Blossom and Sasha - have skipped a season. Their babies - Lumen, Joule and Q-Bit - were all first seen out of the pouch in August last year, so the next season's babies would have been expected to emerge in about February - but there were no babies to be seen and none of the females even have plump pouches.

I'm not sure what the reason is. They claim that in the wild, brushtails normally breed once per year, and twice a year only when there's a good year with ample food. But the past year has been (at least to my human eyes) a good year with ample food. There has been plenty of rain and everything in the garden is green. 

Are the possums reacting to a higher population density? Is there something else going on we don't know about?

At least everyone is looking healthy.

Wink looks fine:

Wink - 20th Feb 2024

Wink - 1st April 2024

Wink's son Lumen looks fine and is still around. He will have to leave the area in the coming months, but maybe with the new breeding schedule he will be allowed to stay a little longer.

Lumen - 24th Feb 2024

Lumen - 19th Jan 2024

Blossom looks fine:

Blossom - 22nd Mar 2024

Blossom (lower left) and Lumen (upper right) - 1st Mar 2024

Vincent looks fine:

Vincent - 20th Feb 2024

Vincent - 20th Feb 2024

Sasha has been seen visiting Box 1 every now and then, but has not slept in a box for a long time. A couple of days ago I thought she had slept in Box 1 but on closer inspection it turned out to be a different possum. I'm still not sure who it is. It doesn't seem to be any of the regular possums. The face looks most like Pax who was last seen in 2021.

There have been a few ringtails seen around. There was a mother with two children and a male ringtail. There may have been more, but usually they are seen from a distance, so it's difficult to tell whether a ringtail is one that's been seen before.

On one occasion, a ringtail came close enough for food to be reached to it. It wasn't frightened of humans, but it wasn't interested in the food.

Unknown Ringtail Possum - 14th Feb 2024

Unknown Mother (left) and Child (right) Ringtail Possums - 17th Feb 2024

The brush turkeys Merlin and Tabitha are still around. Rhiannon left the area while half-grown.

The water dragon Elton is still around but seen less often now that the weather is cooler. The smaller water dragons Ziggy and Trex haven't been seen for a while and may be hibernating. 

Elton (left) and Merlin (right) - 4th Feb 2024

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