Urban development of the eastern seaboard of Australia has significantly increased human interaction with two native species, the brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) and ringtail possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus). We distributed 500 self-administered questionnaires to residents of Mosman, Sydney to gather demographic information about residents, their experience with possum activity and their opinions of possums; 128 questionnaires were returned. Responses to 23 author provided statements about possums revealed four general themes: belief in the intrinsic value of possums; negative experiences due to possum activity; threats to possums in the urban environment; and relocation as a control measure. A significant relationship between attitude and possum occupation of ceiling cavities was identified. Most residents indicated a desire to receive more information about possums. Equipped with such knowledge of the human dimensions of human-possum conflict, future management strategies can be more effectively targeted, promoting peaceful coexistence between possums and people.
- Human-wildlife conflict
- Urban wildlife