The possum is an introduced species that was released in New Zealand in 1837. The numbers of possums has dramatically increased and they have now reached epidemic proportions with well over 70 million possums munching there way through 21,300 tonnes of vegetation nightly. They are decimating New Zealand's native bush and bird life. The possum has no predators. They are a serious threat and many native trees, plants and birds including the kiwi are under threat from extinction because their habitat is being destroyed by the possum.
For this reason, The New Zealand Possum Fur is designated a 'green fur' and it is environmentally acceptable to wear it.
The possum is high on cuteness and equally high in nuisance value. The Australian brush tailed possum was introduced into New Zealand in 1837 to establish a fur trade.
In its native land the possum is up against dingoes, bush fires and less palatable vegetation, but in New Zealand conditions are so favourable it often breeds twice in one year. It is estimated that the New Zealand possum population now tops 70 million and chomps its way through seven million tons of vegetation per year.
The damage to native forests can be seen all too clearly in many areas. Possums ignore old leaves and select the best new growth. In some areas they have eaten whole canopies of rata, totara, titoki, kowhai and kohekohe.
Possums compete with native birds for habitat and for food such as insects and berries. They also disturb nesting birds, eat their eggs and chicks and may impact on native land snails.
Dairy and deer farmers have the added worry of possums spreading bovine tuberculosis.
Here's an excerpt from the article written by Hattie Klotz:
"...After years of confrontation between fur fanatics and environmentalists, the lowly possum is emerging from the New Zealand bush to bring the two solitudes together.
The quirk is in this unlikely mediator's method: everybody in New Zealand wants the possums dead -- which is exactly what is bringing the humans together.
The Australian brush-tailed possum, put simply, is a pest of epidemic proportions.
There are an estimated 60 to 90 million possums in New Zealand, causing death and destruction to much of the unique native habitat on the South Pacific country's islands. The marsupials have prospered quickly since arriving in New Zealand, multiplying from only a few hundred introduced in 1837 from neighbouring Australia and Tasmania.
They munch their way through an incredible 21,300 tonnes of vegetation nightly, decimating native tree species. They are omnivorous, eating native birds and eggs, which they steal from the nest, and competing for food with birds..."
The Possum fur used in Pussy Caps comes from the New Zealand Brush Tail Possum.
OK, now that we have all that out of the way...
I use possum fur blended with Merino wool in my Pussy Caps because the yarn is soft and furry and warm and feels great in my hands and on my head. And, it has a look like no other yarn has. Hard to describe it - you just kind of have to experience it.
Possum fibre has a hollow core and therefore outstanding
warmth preserving properties.
The only other animal with similar fur structure is the polar bear.
Possum fur is also extremely soft and non-prickly.
To the left is a Pussy Cap crocheted with a Possum/Merino yarn that was dyed to a rich indigo blue.
And below is the natural colored Possum/Merino that's been accented with a pink Chinese Silk.
I've done my homework and I'm more than comfortable using New Zealand Possum Fur in my Pussy Caps.
Actually, I think we're really helping our Kiwi buds out by buying their gol'durn possum fur off 'em.
So let's everybody order a Possum Pussy Cap today and see if we can't wrestle Middle Earth back from the furry little critters that's eatin' it all up.