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Eastern Quoll Fact File

Appearance

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.

Diet

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.

eastern quoll

Scientific Name

Dasyurus viverrinus

Conservation Status

Endangered

Weight

0.7-2kg (1.5-4.5lbs)

Length

28-45cm (11.8-18in)

Lifespan

4-7 years

Diet

Carnivorous

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Range

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.

Habitat

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.

eastern quoll

Reproduction

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.

Behavior

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.

eastern quoll

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.

Quick facts

The eastern quoll is one of the six quoll species. Four live in Australia while two live in Papua New Guinea.

eastern quoll

Photo Credits

Top

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

Middle One

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

References

Burnie, D., 2011. Animal. 3rd ed. London: DK

Slater, P. and Parish, S., 2016. First Field Guide To Australian Mammals. 1st ed. New South Wales: Pascal Press

Dpipwe.tas.gov.au. 2021. Eastern Quoll | Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, Tasmania. [online] Available at: <https://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/wildlife-management/fauna-of-tasmania/mammals/carnivorous-marsupials-and-bandicoots/eastern-quoll> [Accessed 1 March 2021].

Mulligan's Flat Woodland Sanctuary. 2021. Quoll Fact Sheet. [online] Available at: <https://mulligansflat.org.au/quoll-fact-sheet/> [Accessed 1 March 2021].

Oakvale Wildlife. 2021. Eastern Quoll | Our Animals | Oakvale Wildlife. [online] Available at: <https://oakvalewildlife.com.au/explore/our-animals/eastern-quoll> [Accessed 1 March 2021].

Burbidge, A.A. & Woinarski, J. 2016. Dasyurus viverrinus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T6296A21947190. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T6296A21947190.en. Downloaded on 01 March 2021.

Dela Cruz, T. 2002. "Dasyurus viverrinus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed March 01, 2021 at https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Dasyurus_viverrinus/

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