Brushtail Possums are an introduced species
The possum is a major pest and is destroying the native forest and birds. New Zealand possums are nothing like the American opossum. Possum fur is a by-product of the eradication program to save the New Zealand native environment. New Zealand is full of possums
, there are an estimated 70 million possums living in the cities, towns, farms and mostly in the native forest. That is around 17 possums per person in New Zealand. Only about 1.5 million possums are harvested per year for the possum
It is illegal to farm or ranch possums for fur
in New Zealand. In fact the New Zealand government spends millions of dollar each year to reduce possum
numbers in an attempt to help save the native forests and birds.
New Zealand possums live full lives in the native bush
They are free to travel, nest and eat.They eat their way through 20,000 tones of native forest each night. Male possums fight each other viciously over territory and for female possum mates.
Most possums used for manufacturing come from remote bush and forest regions of New Zealand. Often these places can only be accessed by helicopter or several hard days tramping rough and steep mountains.
''New Zealand possum fur is the ideal home decor fur option because the leather is strong and the fur is durable.''
The original Brushtail Possums released from Australia in the late 1800’s
where Tasmanian “Blacks” and Victorian “Greys”
Today natural possums
are generally a reddish brown
, dark brown
or warm grey
with beige belly fur as shown above, however a professional possum fur grader can sort possum colours into nine distinct colours being grey, pale, black, light slate, dark slate, red brown, dark brown, red neck and rusty.
By using colouring techniques we can achieve all kinds of colours from light cream
though to jet black
. All dyed possum fur colours
need extra protection from sunlight to avoid colour fade, especially in New Zealand and Australia where the sun is very harsh and the ozone layer is thin.
Brushtail possum images are reproduced with permission under a Creative Commons licence.