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  • Photo by Nicole Wedlock

With increasing development and absence of natural habitat such as tree hollows and dense vegetation for shelter and nesting, possums are sometimes forced to take refuge in houses and roof cavities.

Under the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016, all native animals including our local ringtail and brush-tail possums are protected.

It is illegal to relocate or kill a possum. If a possum needs to be removed from your roof cavity, there are several important steps and guidelines to follow so that we can share our urban environment and ensure our roofs stay possum free. 

Trapping or relocating possums

Trapping or relocating possums without a catch and release licence is illegal.

A biodiversity conservation licence can be granted to property owners to remove and release possums by the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH). 

Traps are available for hire from some wildlife rescue services or pest control companies.

Or you can engage the services of a catch and release possum handler. Please ensure they hold a current OEH licence and adhere to the standard possum licence conditions. 

Removing possums from your property

Possums are extremely territorial, nocturnal and arboreal in habit. Evidence has shown that a possum released outside its home territory will die due to predation by cats, dogs and foxes, vehicles, and stress related trauma and starvation as they attempt to find an alternative refuge.

Possums need to be released at dusk or after dark no more than 150 metres away from the point of capture and near something it can immediately climb, such as a tree or tall fence, otherwise it will not survive. Remember to block off the access points into your roof and to provide a possum house if you intend to try trapping.

Sick and injured possums

Should you find a possum that appears unwell or an orphaned joey, please contact Sydney Wildlife or WIRES.