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Last updated on April 23, 2014 at 1:22 EDT

Tiger Quoll

The Tiger Quoll (Dasyurus maculatus), also known as the Spotted-tail Quoll and the Spotted Quoll, is a carnivorous marsupial native to Australia. It is the largest carnivorous marsupial found in Australia. Its range once extended from southern Queensland through coastal New South Wales and Victoria to Tasmania. The settlement of Europeans has caused population decline and the tiger quoll is now confined to a few areas, mainly in national parks. It is listed as a threatened species.

Land clearing, habitat destruction, and predation by the Red Fox and cats have led to much of its decline. Its home range is large, however, and the quoll can cover 4 miles in a single night. The northern subspecies of the quoll is restricted to Cairns and Cooktown in Queensland, and also Papua New Guinea. It is estimated that only 50% of quolls remain compared to last century.

The tiger quoll ranges from 13.75 to 29.50 inches in length and has a tail of about 13.50 to 19.50 inches. The tiger quoll is also 50% larger than other species of quolls. Females grow to about 9 pounds, while males are larger and grow to about 15.5 pounds. Like other quolls, this species has thick, soft fawn, brown or black fur, with lighter fur on the underside. Small white spots cover the body including its bushy tail, which may also have a white tip. It has a pointed snout with a moist pink nose, bright eyes, and sharp teeth. Ridges on the pads of its feet allow them to climb trees.

This quoll feeds on a large range of prey including birds, rats, other marsupials, small reptiles and insects. It is a good climber but spends most of its time on the forest floor. Although nocturnal, it spends the daylight hours basking in the sun. It nests in rocky banks, hollow logs, or small caves. It produces one litter a year with four to six young. The gestation period is 21 days. The female’s pouch develops during breeding season, and is open towards the tail. The young remain in their mother’s pouch for about seven weeks, and it takes some 18 weeks for them to become independent of the mother. Sexual maturity is reached after one year. The Tiger Quoll can get 4 to 5 years old.

Tiger Quoll