Western Quoll, Dasyurus geoffroii

The western quoll (Dasyurus geoffroii), also known as the western native cat and by many native names, is a species of marsupial that can be found in Australia. This species once held a large range, but it is now limited to the southwestern corner of Western Australia. It prefers to reside in arid and moist mallee and sclerophyll forests. It was first described by John Gould in 1841, when it was abundant in Australia. It is most closely related to the recently described bronze quoll, which is found in New Guinea.

The western quoll reaches an average body length of 12.9 inches, with a tail length of 11 inches and a weight of 4.4 pounds. Its upper body is reddish brown in color and holds white spots, while its underbelly is solid cream in color. Its hind feet hold five toes and granular paw pads. This species is nocturnal and solitary in nature, spending most of its time on the ground. It moves quickly on the ground but is also a skilled climber and it is thought to dig burrows or enter burrows that have already been made. It consumes arthropods, small invertebrates, carrion, and many other things. Its breeding season occurs between the months of April and July. The western quoll appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Near Threatened.”

Image Caption: A western quoll (chuditch) in enclosure at Caversham Wildlife Park, Western Australia. Credit: S J Bennett/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)