Short-eared Brushtail Possum

Sounds & Calls

Short-eared Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus caninus)
Short-eared Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus caninus) Photo credit: BMJ /
The Short-eared Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus caninus) is a large, chunky species of possum found in wet sclerophyll forest and rainforests from southern Queensland to just north of Sydney in New South Wales. This species was formerly considered conspecific with Mountain Brushtail Possum (now Trichosurus cunninghamii) but recent studies suggest the two populations are sufficiently genetically distinct to be treated as two separate species. Both of these possums are colloquially referred to as ‘Bobucks’. Like its cousin the Common Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula), Short-eared Brushtail Possums are quite vocal and they make a range of coughing growls, barks shrieks and hisses. Although the calls of both of these species are similar, there are distinct differences, perhaps the most diagnostic being the ‘knocking’ staccato coughs of the Short-eared Brushtail Possum. From a distance these calls can sound like two large tree branches rubbing together.

Listen to Short-eared Brushtail Possum Sounds

This video contains examples of a range of coughing growls and wheezy shrieks made by the Short-eared Brushtail Possum. Recorded in Barrington Tops National Park, NSW.