Northern Quoll, Dasyurus hallucatus
The northern quoll (Dasyurus hallucatus), known by many other names including the satanellus and the northern native cat, is a species of marsupial that is native to Australia. Its range extends from southeast Queensland to the Pilbara region in Western Australia. It prefers to reside in open rocky ranges and eucalypt forest.
The northern quoll is the smallest of all Australian quoll species, with females reaching an average body length between 9.8 and 12.2 inches with a weight of up to 1.5 pounds and males reaching an average body length between 10.6 and 14.5 inches, with a weight of up to 2.4 pounds. This species is sometimes classified in the Satanellus genus and is described as the most unique quoll species.
The northern quoll is a carnivore that mainly consumes invertebrates like birds, small mammals, and snakes, but it is also known to consume soft fruits. After breeding, the species exhibits a die-off of males, which leaves the females to raise their young alone. Females can give birth to over eight young who enter their mother’s pouch to fight for a teat. Males live for about one year of age, while females live for about three, and individuals living in rocky areas tend to live for two to three more years.
This species has a fragmented range and is threatened by the invasive cane toad, predation by foxes and feral cats, and habitat loss due to grazing, mining, and changing fire regimens. It has become extinct in some areas of its range, but conservation efforts to save this species are being conducted. These include the University of Sydney teaching the quolls to avoid eating the cane toad and listing it as Endangered under Australian Commonwealth Act. The northern quoll is listed on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Endangered.”
Image Caption: Northern Quoll photographed between Mareeba and Cairns, Queensland, Australia. Credit: Wildlife Explorer/Wikipedia