Where Do Possums Live?

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Possums live in a wide range of regions around the world. Some types of possums can only be found in certain areas, while other types can be found just about anywhere. In this guide, we’re going to explore the different types of regions and environments where you might be able to find a significant possum and opossum population.

Possums can be found in several popular regions around the world, including Australia, New Zealand, and some parts of Asia.  Opossums have a significant population in North America and can be found in most states. Large populations of opossums exist in states like Virginia and Michigan. They can also be found in Mexico and Canada. 

We are going over both the Virginia opossum and the Australian possum. From a continental to local basis, there are many regions and environments where you can find possums. Many of them live in forest habitats and can be found climbing trees or building underground shelters. It’s not uncommon for humans to find possums invading their property and scavenging through trash bins or other outside accessories. 

Opossum Vs Possum – What’s the Difference? Find out here.

Where Do Opossums Live?

Opossums can be found across the North American continent, primarily in the United States. They can also be found in Mexico and Canada with smaller overall populations in those countries, at least compared to the U.S.

Nearly every state will have at least a small population of opossums, but they can primarily be found thriving in states with large amounts of forests and swamps. In smaller numbers, they can also be found in some mountainous regions. 

Virginia and Michigan have a large number of opossums.

There are also significant populations of these wild animals in Texas and California.  As population numbers shift for opossums, local adaptations may occur in the subspecies of this animal. This means that some types of opossums may be more comfortable in their local environmental habitats, at least when compared to other subspecies.

Where do opossums live? – Video example.

Where Do Possums Live?

Possums (brushtail possums, also known as Australian possum) have significant populations in many different regions around the world. As we touched on earlier in this post, you’ll find a significant amount of possums in New Zealand, Australia, and China. 

The dryer conditions for possums are a little bit different than what you might expect a possum to thrive in, but there are sufficient amounts of prey in these regions that allow them to have a stable population.

Brushy local environments are popular for possums. These thick, forest-based environments are the current home to an incredible amount of possums. While they are a thriving species, they also face grave dangers out in their local environments. Most animals are larger than possums and could pose a great risk to their survival, especially if they are hunting for an easy meal.

Possums try to only reveal themselves in their local region during the darkness of the night to try and lower the chances of being hunted. They have poor vision, which can create difficulties during the daytime when some of their predators are out roaming around. 

Possums have to deal with these challenges every single day, which ultimately leads to a challenging life of survival and a shorter lifespan when compared to most other small wild animals. The brushtail possum is the most common, and distributed possum in Australia. Winning it the title of Australian possum. Source.

Why Do Possums and Opossums Like Forest Environments?

The main reason that you find large amounts of possum populations in forest environments is that these environments usually have everything that they need to survive efficiently. 

Possums can find food, water, shelter, and other supplies for their survival in forests and other wooded environments. They can reproduce and protect their young without facing dangerous risks from predators. In many cases, they prefer to climb trees and scavenge for supplies in these types of environments because it’s much easier to survive there than if they were in an open desert where supplies are severely limited.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that all possums have to live in forests. There are many thousands of possums and opossums that do manage to survive in other types of environments. You’ll indeed find some possums in mountainous regions and even desert regions. 

Over time, some of these possums develop local adaptations that allow them to manage their lifestyle in these slightly different regions. At the same time, it can be challenging for possums that live differently and they may face unexpected challenges and struggle to maintain a sufficient population. 

Do Opossums Live in Trees?

Opossums do not make really make dens like most animals, they tend to make nests. Many opossums and possums will make nests in hollowed-out trees. They are also very good at climbing trees and may spend a lot of time up in a tree. This keeps them high up above any potential predators.

Younger opossums can hang from their tail on branches. This is only for a short period until they become too large and heavy to hang by just the tail. The opossum has a great grip and its footpads allow for great climbing skills. Source.

Read our article Do Possums Climb Trees here.

Related Questions

Can possums live in any type of environment?

While possums primarily live in forests or swamps, they can be found in deserts, mountains, and grassland regions as well. It may be more challenging for possums to survive in these regions, but many of them still manage to do so. 

Do possums and opossums prefer different types of environments?

While possums and opossums live on completely different continents, they have similar lifestyles. Both types of animals are extremely small and have similar attributes, which ultimately means their best chance of survival is in forests and swamps.

Chad Fox