Do possums hibernate?

No, possums do not hibernate in the winter, although they sometimes have a little longer period of sleep during the wintertime. Possums are not true hibernators, and they stay active during the winter. Possums do not put much effort in creating their shelters from winter frosts. One of the reasons whyis because they are incapable of digging holes since their paws are not strong enough for that activity. So during the winter, or in the period before winter starts, they are usually looking for a shelter where they will spend most of their time during the winter. So possums look for some shelters like tree hollows or a downed hollow tree, and they tend to spend their days during the winter inside of the trees. Also, possums sometimes are looking to spend their time during the winter in human habitats. So in urban areas they are usually going to places like bridges, finding a suitable place inside the bridge or below the bridge to position themselves. Or they look for places like culverts or abandoned houses or barns where they are protected from winter, and they are also partly isolated from humans and possible human reactions.

For the possum species in North America, their tails are quite susceptible to frostbite as they have no fur on their tails to protect them from frost. So for a possum it is a great challenge to survive during the winter. New Zealand possums of course do not have that problem since they are not faced with winters that are very cold.

Possums are, in general, nocturnal animals, that is, they sleep during the daytime and are active during the nighttime. During the winter they stay in that mode, but they may change their habits and reduce the amount of food that they eat.

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