Eastern Quoll Fact File
The eastern quolls are small cat sized animals with a body which is colored either brown, tan or black. This is spotted with white across the back. In most individuals the underside is lighter in color.
Their face is pointed and at the tip is a pink nose while the eyes are black. They have sharp teeth as part of their carnivorous diet. On top of the head are a pair of large, erect ears which are colored pink.
At the end of the body is a tail of between 21 and 30cm (8.2-11.8in) long. This is colored the same as the body and in some individuals has a white tip.
The eastern quoll differs from the other quoll species as they lack the big toe on the back foot and have only four.
From the head to the base of the tail they will measure between 28 and 45cm (11.8 and 18in) long with an average weight of 0.7 to 2kg (1.5-4.5lbs). Males tend to be significantly larger than females.
The eastern quoll is a carnivore. This species emerges at night to forage for insects, small reptiles and small mammals such as rodents. They may also scavenge from carcasses of animals killed by the Tasmanian devil.
Some reports exist of them eating fruit in small quantities.
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Australia is the native home of the eastern quoll. Here the only major wild populations are found in Tasmania.
They are considered extinct in New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria but reintroduction areas have been ongoing in recent years and small populations with varying levels of success have been established here.
Prior to reintroduction efforts the last mainland sighting dated to 1963 in the New South Wales suburb of Vaucluse.
They make their home in rainforest, heathland, alpine areas and scrub showing a preference for dry grassland and forest mosaics. These preferred habitats provided an abundance of pasture grubs, a favored food.
Within their home range they will form a number of den sites in hollow logs, burrows and crevices.
Breeding takes place in early winter.
Females have a short 21 day gestation period. Following this up to 24 underdeveloped young are born. They are as small as a grain of rice. These climb up to the pouch where they begin to suckle and develop. There are only six teats in the pouch meaning the first six joeys to arrive will survive.
By 10 weeks old they are old enough to be lest in a burrow while the mother goes to feed. During this time the mother may move them between dens often by piggybacking them.
Around 18 to 20 weeks old they will be weaned and can begin to hunt their own food.
Sexual maturity is reached at one year old and they will breed in the next season.
Eastern quolls are active by night (nocturnal) when they will emerge to hunt.
Most of their day is spent climbing but they are capable climbers and can be seen in the trees.
Predators and Threats
Humans have impacted the eastern quoll through the introduction of the eastern quoll which is both a predator and competitor. Domestic dogs and the introduced red fox also effect them.
They also suffer from habitat destruction, vehicle strikes, illegal poisoning and trapping. A number of introduced diseases have also affected their population.
Recently the red fox has been introduced to Tasmania and it is unclear if this will effect the population of the eastern quoll in to the future.
The eastern quoll is one of the six quoll species. Four live in Australia while two live in Papua New Guinea.
By Michael Barritt & Karen May – Flickr, taken by Michael Barritt & Karen May, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1553778
By Guy NŒHRINGER – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=67623323
Middle Two and Bottom
By Ways – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10073048
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