Model marsupial or menace? A review of research on brushtail possums in Australia and New Zealand

Michael N. Clout, S.D. Sarre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)


The brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) is a nocturnal, herbivorous marsupial endemic to Australia, with protected status there. In New Zealand,
however, this arboreal phalanger is an introduced animal that causes serious economic and ecological damage. Brushtail possums are not found in the wild outside of Australia and New Zealand. Because these 2 countries have similar histories, cultures, and national scientific establishments, differences in the research focus on brushtail possums in each country should stem from the different status of the species; as a valued endemic marsupial in Australia and as an invasive pest in New Zealand. Research on brushtail possums in Australia and New Zealand, therefore, provides a unique opportunity to analyze how the status of a wild animal influences research focus and to examine how research helps to address pest-management problems
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-172
Number of pages5
JournalWildlife Society Bulletin
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


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