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Spotted- tailed Quoll
Dasyurus maculatus

Importance of tree hollows

The Quoll is a member of the Dasyurids family, it is a Marsupial, and it is carnivorous, it is in fact one of the largest of carnivorous marsupials we have in Australia. It 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.

It is found on the east coast in sclerophyll forest and rainforest, unfortunately most of us will never see one in the wild. Due to land clearing having removed suitable habitat, competition from feral cats and foxes, its numbers have been greatly reduced. It is now believed that if the last forest areas where these critters live are opened up for logging the Quoll will be unable to survive.
Once upon a time this area also had another specie of Quoll being the Eastern Quoll, it was found in the early days from Southern Queensland right through to Tasmania, it is now only found in Tasmania. Let us hope the introduction of foxes in Tasmania will not mean the disappearance forever of this particular specie of Quoll.
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 her pouch till they are 7 weeks old, and 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 of our marsupials, but can still be found in the sun foraging or sunning itself.
The Quoll is a very good hunter, prey can be birds, small macropod's, possums, rats and reptiles, and it will also clean up carcasses of domestic animals.
The Australian Museum Complete book of Australian mammals.
The Encyclopedia of Australian Mammals by Ronald Strahan.

WIRES was called to help solve a problem for a chicken farmer loosing chickens to a family of Quolls. After extensive talks with the farmer involved it was made clear that the only option was to relocate the Quolls or they would be shot.

Three WIRES members were involved in the relocation which took extended time. Trapping a Quoll which is an intelligent animal is not easy, patience and vigilance is called for as well as warm clothes, a car that one can sleep in overnight in the bush was all part of the process for these carers. The weather turned cold and wet whilst this was happening but our carers were not deterred. Two Quolls have so far been relocated, the rest of the family has for now retreated and we hope they will stay far away out of harms way, if not our carers will once again do the trek out to this remote property in order to save the rest of this family of Quolls.



30 gram

Image by Vanessa Martin


Quoll being relocated to safe environment

Image by Kate Whitney

Quoll being relocated to safe environment

Image by Kate Whitney


Wild Quoll at camping ground

Image by Rick & Sharyn Lafontaine

Image by Rick & Sharyn Lafontaine

Updated March 2021  

Webmaster: Susanne Ulyatt

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