Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission  
Fish and Wildlife Conservation CommissionFlorida Marine Research Institute
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opossum.jpg (15526 bytes)Florida's only marsupial is the Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana).   Opossums are about the size of a house cat, have long naked tails and small ears.   Opossums occur throughout the state in virtually all habitats.  If threatened they may go limp and appear dead, hence "playing possum". Opossums are common in residential and suburban areas, and are most active at night.  

Opossums are attracted to virtually any type of available food, including garbage, pet food, or cultivated fruits and vegetables.  To prevent attraction of opossums garbage cans should be secured with rubber straps, and pet food should be taken in at night. 

A landowner may lawfully live-trap nuisance opossums using sardines or cat food as effective bait.   Wildlife may not be lawfully relocated without an FWC permit and permission from the private property owner.  Wildlife may not be lawfully relocated to public land.   Relocating wildlife is seldom biologically sound, the animal often does not survive.

You can receive technical assistance for opossum problems by contacting the FWC regional office nearest you.

More information

Wildlife Resources Handbook information

National opossum society

'possum network

Why the opossums tail is bare?

Window on the woodlands fun facts

Info on Opossum tracks


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