Quolls

Billabong Zoo, Port Macquarie, NSW Australia is home to two Quoll species:

Eastern Quolls | Spotted-tail Quolls 

Eastern Quolls

Dasyurus viverrinus

The male Eastern Quolls are about the size of a small domestic cat averaging 60cm in length & 1.3 kg in weight; females are slightly smaller. They have thick, soft fur that is coloured fawn, brown or black. Small white spots cover the body except for the bushy tail which may have a white tip. They are nocturnal, mainly solitary & sleep during the day in nests made under rocks, logs or in burrows.

DISTRIBUTION & HABITAT

The Eastern Quoll is widespread in Tasmania (but listed as ENDANGERED) & previously inhabited south-eastern Australia, however it is now considered extinct on the mainland of Australia.  It is found in a variety of habitats including rainforest, heathland, alpine areas & scrub.

DIET

They are an opportunistic carnivorous marsupial being an impressive hunter eating insects & taking mammals such as rabbits, mice & rats as well as small snakes & skinks; carrion & some fruits are also eaten.

LIFE EXPECTANCY & BREEDING 

Breeding occurs in early winter. After a gestation period of 21 days, females can give birth to up to 20 young. However, the pouch contains only six teats, limiting survival to the young which can first attach themselves to these teats. The young are  weaned at 18 to 20 weeks. If the female needs to move to a different den she carries the young on her back. They reach sexual maturity at 1 year & have a naturally short life span of only 2 to 3 years in the wild.

Conservation

ENDANGERED:    IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

Download fact sheet

Eastern Quolls fact sheet

Spotted-tail Quolls

Dasyurus maculatus

The Spotted-tailed Quoll is mainland Australia’s largest carnivorous marsupial. About the size of a domestic cat it has shorter legs & a more pointed face. Its fur is rich red to dark brown & is covered with white spots on the back which continue down the tail. The average weight of an adult male is about 3.5kgs and an adult female about 2kg.

DISTRIBUTION & HABITAT

The Spotted-tailed Quoll is found in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. They live in various environments including forests, woodlands, coastal heathlands and rainforests. They are mainly solitary animals, and will make their dens in rock shelters, small caves, hollow logs & tree hollows. These animals are highly mobile, moving up to several kilometres in a night & may have quite large territories.

DIET

They hunt at night & feed on a variety of prey including gliders, possums, small wallabies, rats, birds, bandicoots, rabbits, insects & reptiles, all of which they attack by biting the back of the skull or neck.

LIFE EXPECTANCY & BREEDING

They live for approximately 4 years & are sexually mature at 1. Breeding season is between April and July. Females breed usually once a year, and have a gestation period of 21 days, producing an average litter size of  5. They give birth to joeys that are not much bigger than a grain of rice. .They are related to the now extinct Thylacine (Tasmanian Tiger).

CONSERVATION

 NEAR THREATENED: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

Download fact sheet

Spotted-tail Quolls fact sheet