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Australian animals, tree hollows and nestboxes

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Eastern pygmy possum
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research item.jpg (6723 bytes) Eastern pygmy-possum nestbox

ozbox4.gif (658 bytes)

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Another occupant of a nestbox at Gail & Bruce Corstorphan's property (see Chocolate wattled bat) is an Eastern pygmy-possum.   The box used is the possum box illustrated, but modified slightly in that a piece of leather has been fastened above the outside of the entrance as a curtain.  The width and length are chosen so that the base of the curtain hangs inside the entrance when someone is at home and outside when the box is empty.

The box contained fine nesting material pushed up against the leather from the inside.   The nesting material consisted of very fine bark strips and leaf matter of fine cut grass consistency.
The nest was spherical in shape with two small holes as entrances. One of the holes contained a strip of leather which they had cut from the curtain.

New material was added to the nest over time without the curtain ever being pushed in.  The box had previously been occupied by brushtail possums.

Eastern pygmy-possums occur from South Australia and Tasmania around the eastern seaboard as far as the southern tip of Queensland.  They are the size of a large mouse.  They prefer nectar and pollen although they will also eat insects.  V. Turner, in the Complete Book of Australian Mammals, reports their nests to be about 6cm in diameter, which makes their choice of the above, very large box rather surprising.   It suggests that they are not fussy in their nestbox requirements.




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