New Zealand Journal of Ecology (1978) 1: 126- 131

Foods of the Australian brush-tailed opossum (Trichosurus vulpecula) in an exotic forest

Research Article
B. Warburton 1,2
  1. Department of Zoology, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
  2. Present Address: Protection Forestry Division, Forest Research Institute, P.O. Box 31-011, Christchurch, New Zealand

Foods were identified from stomach contents of 360 opossums collected from May 1975 to May 1976 in Ashley State Forest, Canterbury, New Zealand, where the density of opossums was only 1 per ha and control was practised. Out of 30 foods identified, 7 were eaten extensively: broom (Cytisus scoparius) leaves and flowers; blackberry (Rubus fruticosus) leaves and fruit; pine (Pinus radiata) pollen cones; gorse (Ulex europaeus) flowers; and grasses. No economic damage was caused to pine trees