Correct identification can be vital to the survival of some possum species because of their diet, family structure and housing requirements. For example a yellow-bellied glider will die if surrounded with succulent fresh eucalypt tips where a greater glider would barely survive on glider mix and insects.
Some carers get confused with young brushtails which have not yet developed the thick bushy tail and often, because it curls into a ring, they think it therefore must be a ringtail! So, it gets treated and housed like an adult ringtail possum BUT it should be on milk, because it is a back baby and still suckling from mum. It not only needs to be fed a milk formula, but it is also treated and housed differently than an adult ringtail! This animal will die if the situation is no corrected.
Knowing individual species eye shine can also help you identify some species when spotlighting.
Family structure is also important - if you put two wild adult possums together - with the exception of feathertails and pygmy possums …….fur would fly!!