- Category: Possum
- Created: Wednesday, 07 December 2016 18:08
Opossum habitat in the wild will be centered around wooded areas with water nearby. You will not find them deep in the woods, they prefer to live near edges and have adapted nicely to urban, as well as, rural human populations. In the wild they will shelter in sheds, abandoned dens or nests of other animals, brush piles, and hollow trees or fallen logs. In your yard these marsupials will take up residence in your woodpile, shed, garage, or under your deck or porch.
The Virginia opossum became prevalent through out most of North America during the 1900s when they were brought to many of the western states as pets. As with most wild animals, many escaped back into the wild or were intentionally released. They have been very successful in most parts of the continent, but you will be hard pressed to find them in the higher altitudes of the Rockies.
Closer to home, ranges of individual animals will vary from 12-264 acres. Breeding males making the longer treks if necessary.
Opossums appear to enjoy most of the climate conditions found from southern Canada south through central Mexico with one exception: the higher altitudes of the Rocky Mountains. In fact, the spread of the animal to the West coast of the United States is contributed to human introduction rather than a natural march west by the animal.
Opossums aren't too picky when it comes to their den habitat. The will sleep anywhere it is dry and safe. North America's only marsupial's engineering skills are limited to sanitation and do not translate into construction. Rather than building their own dens they often will recycle burrows that were created by other animals or take up shelter under buildings, decks, porches and even in hollow stumps and trees, and rock crevices.
That doesn't mean they wont make these areas more suitable to their liking. Once they have claimed a burrow or stump as their own they will fill it dried leaves and grasses making themselves a very plush and warm nesting area. Their grasping tail plays a role in nest building by assisting in carrying the nest materials.
Due to the large number of predators that prey on the animals they switch den locations every few days. According to experts a male opossum that was followed by a radio tracking devise used 19 different dens over a five (5) month period.
The Virginia Opossum has a wide range of habitats and it appears it is not to concerned about where it will sleep at night as long as it has a place to hide from predators. Be mindful the next time you are pulling wood out of your wood pile or cleaning out under your porch as these areas make excellent Opossum habitat.