THE SPOTTED QUOLL

Spotted Tail Quoll

The spotted-tail quoll, or tiger quoll, is the 2nd largest carnivorous marsupial remaining in the world. (Largest is the Tasmanian Devil). Found (rarely) in eastern Australia and Tasmania, the spotted quoll was once nicknamed the “tiger cat”.

Spotted-tailed quolls vary from reddish brown to dark chocolate brown with white spots on the body and tail (unlike eastern quolls which do not have spots on the tail). They are also considerably larger than the eastern quoll, with males measuring up to 130 cm long and 4 kg in weight.

Historically, spotted quolls lived throughout southeastern Queensland, through eastern New South Wales, Victoria, southeastern South Australia, and Tasmania however European settlement severely decimated the mainland population.. They are now rare on the mainland and mostly restricted to national parks. In Tasmania, the tiger quoll mostly frequents the northern and western areas where rains are seasonal.

Spotted-tail quolls are largely solitary and nocturnal, although they do sometimes forage and bask during daylight hours. The spotted-tailed quoll is a capable hunter that, like the eastern quoll, kills its prey by biting on or behind the head. Spotted tail quolls are capable of preying on rats, gliding possums, small or injured wallabies, reptiles and insects. They will also eat birds and eggs from time to time as well as scavenging.

Females breed only once a year unless they lose their litter early, at which time they will try to breed again. Breeding occurs in early winter with females giving birth to up to 6 young after a gestation period of 21 days. After about 10 weeks the young are left in grass-lined dens located in burrows or hollow logs leaving the female free to hunt and forage. If the female needs to move to a different den she carries the young along on her back. Towards the end of November, when the young are 18 to 20 weeks old, they are weaned and reach maturity at one year.

The species is fully protected in Tasmania.

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