All possum species in South Australia are protected by the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972. You have a legal responsibility to manage any possum impacts in a humane manner.

Property owners can manage possum impacts themselves by obtaining a permit or by hiring a licenced professional possum controller.

Taking the time to plan and prepare your possum management will increase the likelihood of success and avoid wasting time and money.

All possum management must consider the welfare of the possums, follow permit conditions and relevant codes of practice or guidelines.

For more information see the following topics:

You must have a permit or engage a permitted possum controller to trap and release a possum. You can only trap a possum living in a building, not in your garden. See information on living with possums for suggestions to manage these impacts.

It is important to remember that possum-proofing your building must always be undertaken in conjunction with any trapping activities to achieve a long-term solution to possum impacts.

It is not possible to obtain a permit or engage a permitted pest controller to relocate a possum away from your property. Relocation often results in the death of the possum due to competition for food and shelter with other possums who will defend their area aggressively. Possums are highly territorial and therefore it is a permit condition that trapped possums must be released within their home range, on the same property they were captured, and within 50 metres of the capture site.

It is important that where possums are trapped and released, they are done so in a manner that reduces harm or distress.

Please read the factsheet for trapping and releasing possum guidelines that explain how to correctly trap and release possums, including information on:

  • trap specifications (type and size)
  • trap location (within a built structure)
  • trap operation and inspection times (set traps at dusk and inspect at dawn)
  • use of food attractants
  • storage and care requirements of trapped possums before release (during daylight hours)
  • location of release (on the same property and within 50 metres of capture site)
  • time of release (within 24 hours of trapping and after dusk)
  • protecting possums from injury or predation
  • not releasing sick or diseased possums.

To apply for a permit to trap and release possums on your property, or to become a permitted possum pest controller, please visit manage, control or destroy wildlife permits.

You can loan or hire a possum trap for use on your property from some local councils or from a private hire company. You should obtain a permit before you borrow or hire a trap.

Kangaroo Island is the only region in South Australia where you may obtain a permit to destroy possums causing impacts, and the only species that may be permitted is common brushtail possums.

Brushtail possums are found in much higher density on Kangaroo Island than on mainland South Australia. Due to a lack of predators on Kangaroo Island, brushtails are more commonly found out of trees travelling on the ground, where they graze heavily on freshly grown crops and in orchards, as well as impacting residential areas.

We recommend you first consider non-lethal methods where possible to manage impacts before considering lethal methods. For top tips on managing possums with non-lethal methods see living with possums.

To apply for a Permit to Destroy Wildlife for destroying possums on Kangaroo Island see manage, control or destroy wildlife permits.

If a permit is obtained, a permit holder must abide by the permit conditions including the Code of Practice for the humane destruction of common brushtail possums by shooting in South Australia.

For more information, see our factsheet on managing impact causing species by destruction.