Spotted- tailed Quoll

Dasyurus maculatus

The Spotted-tailed Quoll also known as Tiger Quoll, is about the size of a domestic cat, it is a member of the Dasyurids family, it is a Marsupial, and it is carnivorous.  Australia is home to four species of quolls, which are the largest carnivorous marsupials in Australia.

The Spotted-tailed Quoll is a rich rufus brown above, paler below, with white spots of different size all over the body including the tail. The head and body length is 38-75 cm in males; females are smaller 34-45cm. The male weighs up to 7 kg, the female 4 kg.

Tail length is almost the same size as the body length in both male and female. Life expectancy in the wild is about 3-4 years.

It is found on the East coast where it has been recorded across a range of habitat types, including rainforest, open forest, woodland, coastal heath and inland riparian forest, from the sub-alpine zone to the coastline. Unfortunately most of us will never see one in the wild. Due to land clearing and loss of suitable habitat, competition from feral cats and foxes, being shot due to its taste for domestic fowl, its numbers have been greatly reduced and it is now listed on the threatened species list.

Once upon a time the Eastern Quoll was found from Southern Queensland right through to Tasmania, it is now only found in Tasmania.

The Spotted tailed Quoll become sexually mature at 1 year old, the female will give birth to an average of 5 young. She will carry her young in the pouch till they are 7 weeks old, the young become independent at 18 weeks. Breeding takes place from April to July. The male will defend the nest site which can be in a hollow log, rock caves, or even in trees, but have little to do with his offspring.

It is mainly nocturnal as are most marsupials, but can still be found in the sun foraging or sunning itself.

The Quoll is a very good hunter, prey include gliders, possums, small wallabies, rats, birds, bandicoots, rabbits, reptiles and insects. Also eats carrion and takes domestic fowl.

Reference:

The Australian Museum Complete book of Australian mammals.

The Encyclopedia of Australian Mammals by Ronald Strahan.