Quolls

Billabong Zoo 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 and 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 and sleep during the day in nests made under rocks, logs or in burrows.

Distribution and habitat

The Eastern Quoll is widespread in Tasmania (but listed as ENDANGERED) and 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 and scrub.

Diet

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

Life expectancy and 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 and have a naturally short life span of only 2 to 3 years in the wild.

Conservation

ENDANGERED:    IUCN Red List of Threatened Species