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Quoll
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Western Quoll (or Chuditch)

Most of the well-known Australian animals such as kangaroos, possums and koalas are plant eaters.
 There are also meat-eating animals in Australia and Quolls are probably the best known of these carnivores.Quolls are only found in Australia and New Guinea.

There are four kinds of Quolls -

 Spotted-tailed Quoll, Eastern Quoll
Western Quoll, Northern Quoll
They are usually found in forested areas.


 

 

The Quoll and its Features

They are a mammal and feed there young on milk, when they are born they are covered in fur and live for sometime in their mothers pouch where their are teats for their milk supply.

Quolls are about the same size as cats, male quolls are usually bigger than females. Because they look like cats they were often called native   cats.
 Male Quolls weigh up to 7kgs. A Quoll's fur is usually brown with white spots, they are thought to live for 6 years. 

Females weigh up to 4 kg's, she has a shallow pouch.

Although they spend much of there time on the ground they are very good climbers and may spend some time in the trees. They use there paws for running, climbing, digging and holding food.




Quolls have long, furry tails. The spotted-tailed Quoll is the only one with spots on its tail

 


The Quoll Paw and Skull Features

The front paw has five toes each with a long claw, rough fleshy pads provide grip for climbing trees.  A back paw has a very small clawless first toe and four larger toes with long claws with the rough fleshy pads for good grip.  All four kinds of quolls look quite similar but there is a way of telling them apart. Northern & Western Quolls have five toes but the first is very small. Eastern quolls have four toes on their back feet.

 

  Quolls are fierce predators and will eat almost anything. They hunt and eat small mammals such as possums and mice, birds, lizards, frogs and even insects. Quolls will also eat plant seeds and fruits.
 Quolls have three kinds of teeth - Incisors for cutting, Canines for tearing & Molars for grinding.



 Incisors are cutting teeth at the front and molars are grinding teeth at the back of the jaw.
Quolls are usually only active at night and sleep in a den during the day. Large Quolls such as the Spotted-tailed Quoll make their dens in hollow logs or caves.
 Smaller quolls may dig burrows as well as use logs or caves for dens.
 

 Quolls usually feed at night, they are very active and move about constantly looking for food both on the ground and in trees. Although a quoll stays in one area is does not try to keep other quolls out of this area.
 Radio trackers are often used for research fitted to collars to enable us to learn more about these mammals.

 

There droppings are called scats, shaped like small sausages and are very smelly. They usually contain the remains of hair, bone, feathers and insects that have been eaten.

Young Quolls - are marsupials that only partly develop inside their mother, up to 30 are born at once, at birth they crawl into their mothers pouch and feed on her milk to finish developing, usually in winter and autumn.
At birth they are blind, hairless and about 7mm in length and weigh less than one gram.
Their is only 6 teats to supply milk so only the first six to reach a teat will survive.

   

By the time they are 7 weeks old they have some fur and are too big for their mothers pouch. From this time they will stay in the den and continue to feed on their mothers milk.
From about 12 weeks old the young quolls will often play and wrestle outside the den, soon they learn to eat meat and will leave to look after them selves by the time they are 18 weeks old.

 

 Before Europeans arrived in Australia Quolls and other carnivorous marsupials had few natural enemies. As a result they were very common in many areas when Europeans first arrived.
When white man arrived just 200 yrs ago they brought in foxes and cats and have destroyed large tracts of their habitat via forest clearings. Eastern Quolls were once common in mainland south-eastern Australia and Tasmania. They are still quite common in Tasmania, but no extinct on the mainland (there are limited foxes in Tasmania).

There are Chuditch breeding programs currently underway so release back into controlled area can happen. Yelverton Brook hopes to become involved with these programs. Quolls are now being sighted in the Wicher Scarp, the hills behind Busselton and the Leeuwin Naturaliste National Park along the coast between Hamelin Bay in the south to Canal Rocks in the north.

Yelverton Brook is nearing completion of the predator proof fence of their 100acs  and will eradicate all foxes, cats & rabbits to provide a safe and secure area.


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