Increasing urbanization in the United States presents new challenges and opportunities for wildlife species. One species that is thought to benefit from urbanization is Didelphis virginiana (Virginia Opossum). We used radio-telemetry to determine home-range size of opossums living in an urban area and compared body mass measurements of urban and rural animals to ascertain how urbanization affects this parameter for opossums. Minimum convex polygon estimates for male (37.3 ± 46.0 ha; n = 3) and female home ranges (18.8 ± 15.6 ha; n = 5) were smaller than those reported for opossums in rural areas and similar to those from previous urban studies. Opossums living within the city limits had an average body mass (3.0 ± 0.8 kg) that was 34% larger than those in rural areas (2.2 ± 0.6 kg). These data, combined with previous work, suggest that urban areas provide more resources and may be beneficial to opossum populations.
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Vol. 19 • No. 1