National Threatened Species Day - Spot-tailed quoll - Dasyurus by lindayy


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									                                                                                                   What do they look like?
                                                                                                   The spot-tailed quoll is the largest
                                                                                                   marsupial carnivore surviving on
                                                                                                   mainland Australia. They are more than
                                                                                                   50 per cent larger than other quolls
                                                                                                   (eastern, western and northern) and,
                                                                                                   unlike other species, have white spots
                                                                                                   that extend along their tail. They have
                                                                                                   bright eyes, a moist pink nose and
                                                                                                   sharp teeth. They have a pointed snout
                                                                                                   and a long tail. Their fur has a coarse
                                                                                                   texture and is red-brown to dark
                                                                                                   brown with white spots of varying size.

                                                                                                   Where do they live?
                                                                                                   Spot-tailed quolls are found in a range
                                                                                                   of forest environments, from rainforest
                                                                                                   to open woodland. They require forest
                                                                                                   with suitable den sites such as rock
                                                Introduction                                       crevices, caves, hollow logs, burrows
C o n S Er vAT i o n STAT u S                                                                      and tree hollows. They have a large
                                                Four species of quolls are found in                home range and can cover more
Mainland populations:                           Australia. Most parts of the country
eNDANgereD                                                                                         than six kilometres overnight. The
                                                were once inhabited by at least one                spot-tailed quoll was once common
Australian Government
                                                quoll species and they were among                  throughout southeastern Australia,
Tasmanian populations:                          the first native animals to be described
 VulNerAble                                                                                        including Tasmania. However, since
Env. Protection & Biodiversity Cons. Act 1999   by European scientists. All quoll                  European settlement it has become
                                                species have declined in numbers                   rare across most of its range.
New South Wales:
 VulNerAble                                     since European settlement.
Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995
                                                                                                   Spot-tailed quoll life history
Queensland:                                     Did you know?                                      and ecology
 VulNerAble                                     Captain Cook collected quolls along                Spot-tailed quolls hunt mostly at night
Threatened Species Conservation Act 1992
                                                the east coast in 1770, and recorded               being largely nocturnal and solitary.
Victoria:                                       ‘quoll’ as an Aboriginal name for
 ThreATeNeD                                                                                        Their diet appears to consist primarily
Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988
                                                these animals.                                     of medium-sized mammals including
Australian Capital Territory:                                                                      gliders, possums, rabbits, and even
 VulNerAble                                                                                        small wallabies. They like carrion
Nature Conservation Act 1982                                                                       (dead animals), birds and eggs as well.

   1930s                       1950s                    1970s                      1990s                  2000s                 2008 +

Tasmanian tiger          Pig footed bandicoot   Carnaby s black cockatoo       Gilbert s potoroo       Flatback turtle     What s going to be
  eXTINCT                     eXTINCT               eNDANgereD             CrITICAlly eNDANgereD       VulNerAble              NeXT...?
Small mammals, reptiles and                 Fire                                         What you can do
invertebrates are also a significant        Since spot-tailed quolls favour habitats     •	 Find out if your land is likely to be
part of the diet, particularly for          with abundant prey and refuges from             spot-tailed quoll habitat – you can
juvenile quolls.                            predation, wildfire and controlled burns        contact your Threatened Species
Spot-tailed quolls are sexually mature      which reduce these are also a threat to         network Coordinator for information.
at two years of age. Adult males            the species.
                                                                                         •	 road-related deaths are quite
begin searching for females around                                                          common for this species, as the quoll
May, and mating takes place in mid-                                                         often scavenges on road kill and is
June. The young are born in early           in some areas quolls are killed in
                                                                                            thus placed in danger. Take extra
July, and by mid-August are no longer       response to raids on poultry runs,
                                                                                            care driving through areas of known
attached to their mothers, although         having a devastating impact on
                                                                                            quoll habitat, especially at night.
they feed from her and spend much           local populations.
time in the den. By early november                                                       •	 Keep your pets indoors or fenced
                                            other threats to the spot-tailed quoll
at only 18 weeks of age, young are                                                          in at night so they don’t escape and
                                            include road mortality in some areas,
completely independent and they live                                                        become feral predators.
                                            due to scavenging of road-killed
for approximately five years.               carcasses, as well as the impacts            •	 Participate in revegetation and tree
                                            of climate change on fragmented                 planting projects in your local area.
Threats to spot-tailed quolls               habitat areas.                                  You should ensure that all plants are
Adult spot-tailed quolls have a territory                                                   locally sourced and appropriate for
of up to 500ha. There are few areas         Case Study – Creating                           the region and the animals within it.
where such territories can exist            corridors for the tiger quoll
                                                                                         •	 report any quoll sightings to your
without quolls encountering the effects     For the Wonyip Landcare Group the               local conservation department.
of humans.                                  spot-tailed quoll is very important and is
                                            even their emblem. That’s why in 2007        •	 Help the spot-tail quoll by reporting
Habitat loss                                                                                any activities that you see that are
                                            they applied for a TSn Community
one of the main threats to the              Grant to search for this threatened             likely to harm them or their habitat to
spot-tailed quoll is the loss and           species and restore its habitat.                the Department of the Environment,
fragmentation of habitat, especially                                                        Water, Heritage and the Arts –
areas of suitable forest with sufficient    The aim of the project is to find out           Compliance and Enforcement Branch.
numbers of den sites and prey.              if quolls still inhabit the region and          visit
                                            to protect habitat and create wildlife          compliance/index.html or freecall1800
Introduced species                          corridors for them and other species.           110 395 for more information.
The introduction of foxes and cats          Hair-traps, which collect hair samples
has had a major effect on many of           as an animal enters a tube to investigate
Australia’s unique species, including       a food source placed at the end, are           Contacts
quolls. not only are young quolls at        being set in hope that evidence of their       TSN Coordinator –
risk of predation by foxes and cats         presence can be confirmed. Ten years           Eastern Temperate Forests
but these introduced species also           ago this technique proved successful           WWF-Australia
compete for food. Poisoning by cane         when quoll hair was collected after two
toads has led to the death of many          hair-sample surveys were conducted             P 1800 032 551
quolls who try to eat them.                 along near-by creeks.                          E
                                            The landcare group is also working
1080 poison
                                            with local pine plantation owners in
This is used to control fox and wild        securing and rehabilitating habitat for
dog numbers. unfortunately, female          the quolls. The plantation owners have
and juvenile spot-tailed quolls can also    agreed to convert 15 gullies, currently
be susceptible to the poison. it is vital   bare and about to be planted to pine,
that when 1080 baits are used, best         to quoll habitat which will provide
practice management guidelines are          corridors of native vegetation for the
employed in order to keep impacts to        quolls to move through safely.
native species to a minimum.

Edgar r. and Belcher C. (1995). Spotted tailed Quoll (pp. 67 8) in Strahan, r. (ed.), The Australian Museum Complete Book
of Australian Mammals. Angus & robertson, Sydney.

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