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Management program for the Brushtail possum Trichosurus vulpecula (Kerr) in Tasmania - Review of background information

Prepared by Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service, October 1996


References cited

Barlow, N. D. 1994 Predicting the effect of a novel vertebrate biocontrol agent: a model for viral-vectored immunocontraception of New Zealand possums. Journal Applied Ecology 31:454-462.

Barnett, J. L., How, R. A. & Humphreys, W. F. 1977 Possum damage to pine plantations in northeastern New South Wales. Austr. For. Res 7: 185-195.

Bomford, M. 1990 A role for fertility control in wildlife management? Bureau of Rural Resources, Dept. Prim. Ind. & Energy. Bulletin No. 7. AGPS, Canberra.

Caughley, G. 1977 Analysis of Vertebrate Populations. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester.

Coman, B. J. 1994 A review of methods for the mitigation of browsing damage in Tasmania. Vernox Pest Management Report to the Browsing Animal Review Committee, August, 1994.

Cowan, P. E. 1992 The eradication of introduced Australian Brushtail Possums, Trichosurus vulpecula , from Kapiti Island, a New Zealand nature reserve. Biol. Cons. 62: 217-226.

Cowan, P. E. 1993 Effects of intensive trapping on breeding and age structure of brushtail possums, Trichosurus vulpecula, on Kapiti Island, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 20: 1-11.

Cowan, P. E. & Moeed, A. 1987 Invertebrates in the diet of Brushtail Possums, Trichosurus vulpecula, in lowland podocarp/ broadleaf forest, Orongorongo Valley, Wellington, New Zealand. New Zealand J. Zool. 14: 163-177.

Cowan, P. E. & Rhodes, D. S. 1992 Restricting the movements of Brushtail Possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) on farmland with electric fencing. Wildl. Res. 19: 47-58.

Cowan, P. E. & Rhodes, D. S. 1993 Electric fences and poison buffers as barriers to movements and dispersal of Brushtail Possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) on farmland. Wildl. Res. 20: 671-686.

Cremer, K. W. 1969 Browsing of Mountain Ash regeneration by wallabies and possums in Tasmania. Austr. For. 33: 201-210.

Driessen, M. & Hocking, G. J. 1992 Review and analysis of spotlight surveys in Tasmania: 1975-1990. Department of Parks, Wildlife and Heritage, Tasmania, Scientific Report: 92/1.

Dunnet, G. M. 1956 A live-trapping study of the Brushtail Possum Trichosurus vulpecula Kerr (Marsupialia). C. S. I. R. O. Wildl. Res. 1: 1-18.

Dunnet, G. M. 1964 A field study of local populations of the Brush-Tailed Possum Trichosurus vulpecula in eastern Australia. Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond. 142: 665-695.

Fitzgerald, A. E. 1984 Diet of the Possum Trichosurus vulpecula in three Tasmanian forest types and its relevance to the diet of possums in New Zealand forests. In A. P. Smith & I. D. Hume (eds.) Possums and Gliders. Surrey Beatty & Sons, Chipping Norton. pp 137-143.

Forestry Commission Tasmania 1982 Forest pests and diseases: control of browsing damage. Leaflet No. 11, December 1982.

Gilbert, J. M. 1961 The effects of browsing by native animals on the establishment of seedlings of Eucalyptus regnans in the Florentine Valley, Tasmania. Austr. For. 25(2): 116-121.

Gilmore, D. P. 1969 Seasonal reproductive periodicity in the male Australian Brush-Tailed Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula). J. Zool. Lond. 157: 75-98. Green, R. H. 1973 The Mammals of Tasmania. The Author, Launceston.

Green, W. Q. 1984 A review of ecological studies relevant to management of the Common Brushtail Possum. In A. P. Smith & I. D. Hume (eds.) Possums and Gliders. Surrey Beatty & Sons, Chipping Norton. pp 483-499.

Green, W. Q. & Coleman, J. D. 1981 A progress report on the movements of possums Trichosurus vulpecula between native forests and pasture. In B. D. Bell (ed.) Proceedings of the first symposium on marsupials in New Zealand. Zoology Publications from Victoria University of Wellington, 74: 51-62.

Green, W. Q. & Coleman, J. D. 1986 Movements of possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) between forest and pasture in Westland, New Zealand: implications for bovine tuberculosis transmission. New Zealand J. Ecol. 9: 57-69.

Harvie, A. E. 1973 Diet of the opossum (Trichosurus vulpecula Kerr) on farmland northeast of Waverley, New Zealand. Proc. N. Z. Ecol. Soc. 20: 48-52.

Hocking, G. J. 1981 The population ecology of the Brushtailed Possum Trichosurus vulpecula (Kerr), in Tasmania. MSc thesis, University of Tasmania, Hobart.

Hogg, B. W., Catcheside, L. M., Mercer, G. J. K., Pearson, A. J., Ashby, M. G. & Duganzich, D. 1992 Carcass composition and meat quality of brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula). Meat Science 31: 327-341.

How, R. A. 1972a Ecology of Trichosurus species in New South Wales. PhD thesis, University of New England, Armidale.

How, R. A. 1972b The ecology and management of possum species in N.S.W. forests. N. S. W. Forestry Commission, Ann. Res. Rep. 1971-1972 : 107-113.

How, R. A. 1983 Common Brushtail Possum. In Complete Book of Australian Mammals. R. Strahan (ed.). Collins, Angus and Robertson: Sydney. pp.147-148.

James, E. A. 1984 The dynamics of hunted populations of Brushtail Possums Trichosurus vulpecula in Tasmania: a technique for population analysis. MSc thesis, University of Tasmania, Hobart.

Johnson, K. A. 1977 Methods for the census of wallaby and possum in Tasmania. Wildlife Division Technical Report 77/2. National Parks and Wildlife Service, Tasmania.

Jolly, J. N. 1976 Habitat use and movements of the opossum (Trichosurus vulpecula) in a pastoral habitat on Banks Peninsula. Proc. New Zealand Ecol. Soc. 23: 70-78.

Kean, R. I. 1951 Estimation of the effects of deer and opossums in high country. N. Z. Sci. Rev. 9(8): 146-152.

Kean, R. I. 1967 Behaviour and territorialism in Trichosurus vulpecula (Marsupialia). Proc. New Zealand Ecol. Soc. 14: 71-78.

Kerle, J. A. 1984 Variation in the ecology of Trichosurus vulpecula: its adaptive significance. In A. P. Smith & I. D. Hume (eds.) Possums and Gliders. Surrey Beatty & Sons, Chipping Norton. pp 115-126.

Kirkpatrick, J. B. & Brown, M. J. 1991 Reservation analysis of Tasmanian forests. Resource Assessment Commission Report No FTC91/16, November, 1991.

Meredith, J. S., Brown, B. K. & Frith, H. J. 1969 Breeding of the Brush-Tailed Possum Trichosurus vulpecula (Kerr), in New South Wales. C. S. I. R. O. Wildl. Res. 14: 181-193.

Morgan, D. R. & Woolhouse, A. D. 1993 Evaluation of repellants to prevent possum browsing. Proc. 46th. NZ Plant Protect. Conf. pp. 302-306.

O' Callaghan, M. G. & Moore, E. 1986 Parasites and Serological survey of the Common Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) from Kangaroo Island, South Australia. J. Wildl. Diseases 22(4): 589-591.

Presidente, P. J. A. 1984 Parasites and diseases of Brushtail, Possums Trichosurus vulpecula: occurrence and significance. In A. P. Smith & I. D. Hume (eds.) Possums and Gliders. Surrey Beatty & Sons, Chipping Norton. pp 175-182.

Pilton, P. E. & Sharman, G. B. 1962 Reproduction in the marsupial Trichosurus vulpecula . J. Endocrin. 25: 119-136.

Quinn, J. 1968 Opossums deplete Wanganui pasture. N. Z. J. Agr. 117(5): 17-19.

Rounsevell, D. E., Taylor, R. J. & Hocking, G. J. 1991 Distribution records of native terrestrial mammals in Tasmania. Wildl. Res. 18: 699-717.

Southwell, C. J. & Fletcher, M. 1985 Investigations into methods of improving the precision of spotlight surveys used for monitoring wallaby populations in Tasmania. Report to the Tasmanian National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Southwell, C. J. & Fletcher, M. 1993 Repeatability and standardisation of roadside spotlight counts of mammals in Tasmania. Austr. Mamm. 16(1): 73-75.

Southwell, C. J. & Jarman P. J. 1987 Macropod studies at Wallaby Creek III: the effect of fire on pasture utilisation by macropodids and cattle. Aust. Wildl. Res. 14: 117-124.

Spurr, E. B. & Jolly, J. N. 1981 Damage by possums Trichosurus vulpecula to farm crops and pasture. In B. D. Bell (ed.) Proceedings of the first Symposium on Marsupials in New Zealand. Victoria University of Wellington 74: 197-203.

Statham, H. L. 1983 Browsing damage in Tasmanian forest areas and effects of 1080 poisoning. Forestry Commission Tasmania, Bulletin No. 7.

Statham, H. L. 1984 The diet of Trichosurus vulpecula (Kerr) in four Tasmanian forest locations. In A. P. Smith & I. D. Hume (eds.) Possums and Gliders. Surrey Beatty & Sons, Chipping Norton. pp 213-219.

Statham, H. L. 1992 Brushtail possums and rural dieback in Tasmania: a preliminary study. Midlands Tree Committee, Hobart.

Statham, M. 1991 Non-toxic control of wallabies. In Proc. 9th Australian Pest Control Conf. Adelaide, April 1991. pp. 328-331.

Strahan, R. (ed.) 1983 Complete Book of Australian Mammals. Collins, Angus and Robertson, Sydney. p.146.

Tyndale-Biscoe, C. H. 1955 Observations on the reproduction and ecology of the Brush-Tailed Possum Trichosurus vulpecula Kerr (Marspialia), in New Zealand. Austr. J. Zool. 3: 162-184.

Vertebrate Advisory Committee 1994 Native vertebrates which are rare or threatened in Tasmania. Edition 1. Species at Risk, Tasmania - Vertebrates. Parks and Wildlife Service, Tasmania.

Watts, D. 1993 Tasmanian Mammals: A Field Guide. Peregrine Press, Kettering. p44.

 

APPENDIX 1: Number of royalties paid on brush possums, and the number of licence/permit holders each year, 1923 - 1995.
Year Harvest period No. permits Royalties
1923 May 1 - Jul 31   105,968
1924 Jun 1 - Jul 31   47,137
1925 Jun 1 - Jul 31   60,192
1926 Jun 1 - Jul 31   49,737
1927 Jun 1 - Jul 31   42,617
1928 May 1 - Jun 30   37,805
1929 Season Closed   -
1930 Jun 1 - Aug 15   50,170
1931 Jun 1 - Aug 15   23,538
1932-1933 Season Closed   -
1934 Jun 1 - Jul 31   61,455
1935-1936 Season Closed   -
1937 Jun 1 - Jul 12   44,406
1938-1939 Season Closed   -
1940 Jun 1 - Jul 31   61,057
1941-1942 Season Closed   -
1944 Jun 1 - Aug 31   167,847
1945-1948 Season Closed   -
1949 Jul 1 - Jul 31   90,815
1950-1951 Season Closed   -
1952 May 1 - Jul 31   61,357
1953 Jun 1 - Jul 31   149,451
1954 Jun 1 - Jul 31   110,290
1955 Season Closed   -
1956 Jun 1 - Jul 31   82,417
1957-1958 Season Closed   -
1959 Aug 1 - Sep 26   229,032
1960 Jun 1 Jul 31   208,701
1961 Jun 1 - Jul 31   91,106
1962 Jun 1 - Jul 31   128,806
1963 Jun 1 - Jul 31   232,295
1964 Jul 1 - Jul 31 699 69,758
1965 Jul 1 - Jul 31 708 78,998
1966 Jul 1 - Aug 12 975 124,595
1967 Jul 1 - Aug 12 757 101,488
1968 Jul 15 - Aug 31 822 99,072
1969 Jul 15 - Aug 31 994 133,848
1970 Jul 1 - Jul 31 866 85,421
1971 Season Closed   -
1972 Jul 1 - Aug 31 709 100,627
1973 Jul 1 - Aug 31 685 121,833
1974 Jul 1 - Sep 15 563 24,261
1975 Jul 1 - Aug 31 1168 120,072
1976 Jul 1 - Aug 31 1685 226,571
1977 Jul 1 - Aug 31 1903 239,643
1978 Jul 1 - Aug 31 3093 298,019
1979 Jul 1 - Aug 31 2640 291,848
1980 Jul 1 - Aug 31 2935 270,421
1981 Jul 1 - Aug 31 2971 159,395
1982 Jul 1 - Aug 31 1705 97,281
1983 Jul 1 - Aug 31 1611 136,546
1984 Jul 14 - Sep 14 1316 57,743
1985 Jul 13 - Sep 15 745 59,922
1986 Jun 28 - Aug 31 717 61,799
1987 Jun 27 - Aug 30 1320 153,104
1988 Jul 2 - Sep 4 1422 93,255
1989 Jul 1 - Sep 3 635 34,047
1990 Jun 30 - Sep 2 493 18,800
1991 Jun 29 - Sep 1 237 8,752
1992 June 27 - Aug 30 175 7,560
1993 June 26 - Aug 29 149 6,987
1994 June 25 - Aug 28 97 3,789
1995 Jan 1- Dec 31 40 1,996*

*-From 1995 , royalties have been paid on skins & carcases

 

APPENDIX 2: Conservation of the Brush Possum within the Tasmanian Reserve System (note: only reserves 1000 hectares or more in area are presented here)
Name of Reserve Area (ha) Habitat Suitability
(i) National Parks
South-west 608,298 *
Franklin-Gordon River 440,961 *
Cradle Mtn - Lake St Clair 161,108 **
Ben Lomond 16,527 **
Mt Field 16,265 ***
Douglas Apsley 16,080 **
Mt William 13,899 ***
Walls of Jerusalem 51,800 **
Freycinet 11,930 ***
Maria Island 11,550 ***
Hartz Mountain 7,140 **
Asbestos Range 4,281 ***
Rocky Cape 3,064 **
Strzelecki 4,215 ***
(ii) State Reserves
Pieman River 3,314 *
Cape Pillar 3,200 **
Labillardiere 2,332 **
Cape Raoul 2,089 **
Alum Cliffs 1,540 ***
(iii) Nature Reserves
Lavinia 6,800 **
Lime Bay 1,310 ***
Three Hummock Island 7,284 **
(iv) Conservation Areas:
South-West 263,889 **
Central Plateau 89,200 **
Tooms Lake 22,663 ***
Ben Lomond 2,665 **
Southport Lagoon 3,556 **

* - low, ** - medium, *** - high.