Spotted-tailed quoll in western Sydney

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Spotted-tailed quoll in western Sydney

This is a face not seen by many and even more rarely in such an urban area. It is the face of a juvenile, female spotted-tailed quoll that was taken into care with WIRES after a resident near Parramatta found her in a trap he had set to catch feral cats in his backyard.

She is in good condition apart from a slight injury to her nose and was in care until she recovered and was able to be released back into the wild. WIRES is proud to be doing its bit by ensuring this quoll returns to the wild in the best of health.

This species is listed on the IUCN Red List and lives predominantly in isolation across large territories, ensuring the spotted-tailed quoll not something you come across everyday!

A few weeks earlier, WIRES received notice of a ‘possum with white spots’ in a tree also located in Western Sydney. We confirmed this was also a spotted-tailed quoll.

A spotted-tailed quoll has a short haired, brown coat with uneven white spots marked throughout. The spots give this species its unique identification.

The female in our care weighs in at 2.25kgs which is a healthy weight. It will typically keep a home range that extends from 500 to 1500 hectares.

The male spotted-tailed quoll is the heavier in this species and will roam a slightly smaller territory than a female that will cross over partially with other males. Females don’t come into contact with each other and only seek out males when they need to mate.

We are lucky that the species has survived to date, but we are very aware that on last count, there were only an estimated 20,000 adults remaining.

The spotted-tailed quoll was listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as ‘near threatened’ in 2008, it is the last of all the quoll species in NSW. It is the largest marsupial carnivore surviving on the mainland of Australia. A number of factors are contributing to its declining population including loss of habitat, competition for food and 1080 baiting.

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