Wildlife Hotline: (516) 674-0982
Wildlife Center of Long Island
Wildlife Hotline: (516) 674-0982

Opossums on Long Island

Virginia Opossums are North America’s only marsupial, this means they have a pouch to carry around their offspring until they are old enough to move around on their own. They have long prehensile tails they use to grip and balance while climbing. They also have 5 toes with sharp nails on each foot to help them hold onto trees while climbing and food while eating. Unfortunately, opossums are commonly hit by cars while crossing the road. Always remember to pull over and check the pouch of a recently deceased opossum for babies. You could save up to 13 little lives! Also, keep dogs leashed while outside and all cats indoors to keep adult opossums and their babies safe.

Did you know?

Opossums have very poor eyesight. To make up for this, they use their strong sense of smell to find food. They also help reduce the spread of Lyme Disease by controlling the tick population. A single opossum can eat up to 5,000 ticks a year!

Coexisting with Opossums

Opossums are an important part of our environment, here are a few ways to coexist with them.

  • Seal up any entrances to basements and window wells
  • Keep garage and shed doors closed
  • Do not leave any human or animal food out overnight
  • Use animal-proof trash cans like these

Help Us Support Wildlife

We rely on donations from the community to provide the best possible rescue, care and rehabilitation to Long Island’s Wildlife.

Wildlife on Long Island

Long Island is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and marine life. Here are some examples of the wildlife you might find on Long Island.





Reptiles & Amphibians

Shorebirds & Seabirds

Small Rodents