What the devil is a Spotted-tailed Quoll?

The Tamborine Mountain Escarpment Protection Precinct offers perfect habitat for the Spotted-tailed Quoll. There have been unconfirmed recordings of the species within the area; a species that once occurred across Tamborine Mountain before the loss of a lot of habitat (Ref. Tamborine Mountain Escarpment Flora and Fauna Report; Chenoweth, 2001).

To record consistent sightings and habits of this elusive animal requires months of dedicated on-site study … just ask the Australian Quoll Conservancy.

Known as … the Spotted-tailed quoll, the Tiger Quoll, the Tiger Cat and the Burrumbil.

Scientific name … Dasyurus maculatus maculatus.

Quolls belong to the Dasyurini tribe, which includes the Tasmanian Devil, Antechinus, Kowari and Mulgara.

Key points about the Spotted-tailed Quoll …

–  primarily nocturnal
–  a predatory animal
–  the largest marsupial carnivore on mainland Australia
–  top of the food chain, it plays a role in the population control of other native animals
–  three to four times larger than the other five quoll species at 75 cm from the nose to the tail
–  the only quoll to have spots from the body right onto the tail.

Threats to Spotted-tailed Quoll numbers …

Threats to the quoll’s survival include:

1. Land clearing and the resulting loss of habitat.
2. Cats, dogs and foxes, which eat young quolls (made worse by habitat loss as feral animals penetrate cleared areas).
3. The dreaded cain toad (quolls can eat them and suffer poisoning).

Interesting …

Quolls live for only a very short time – some three to four years. This could be one of the key reasons why the status of this species is so threatened. If the number of new animals moving into established quoll populations is low, then breeding is affected and numbers drop.

It’s vital to protect the habitat of the Spotted-tailed Quoll to enable the animals to socialise and breed.

Current status of the Spotted-tailed Quoll …

1. Endangered: Australian Government’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
2. Near-threatened: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. (IUCN stands for: International Union for Conservation of Nature.)
3. Vulnerable: Queensland Government’s Nature Conservation Act 1992.

We need to give the Spotted-tailed Quoll the best possible chance of surviving within the remaining habitat so crucial to their survival.

We have a responsibility to protect this beautiful and unusual animal from being exposed to any more threats. We’ve done enough damage; it’s time we do some good.

Great resources on the Spotted-tailed Quoll …

Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection: Queensland’s quolls

Australian Government Department of the Environment: Spotted-tail Quoll

Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland: Spotted-tailed Quoll

IUCN Red List: Dasyurus maculatus