The Eastern quoll is a medium-sized species of marsupial. The fur of the animal is thick but soft, colored with fawn, brown or black and exhibiting small, white patches all over the body except with the tail. Generally, these quolls come in two distinct color patterns: either fawn with whitish under parts or black with brownish under parts. Meanwhile, in both cases the animals display the characteristic white patches. The fawn color pattern occurs more often, though young in the same litter may exhibit both of these patterns.
Nocturnality is an animal behavior characterized by being active during the night and sleeping during the day. The common adjective is "nocturnal",...
An omnivore is an animal that has the ability to eat and survive on both plant and animal matter. Obtaining energy and nutrients from plant and ani...
A carnivore meaning 'meat eater' is an organism that derives its energy and nutrient requirements from a diet consisting mainly or exclusively of a...
Scavengers are animals that consume dead organisms that have died from causes other than predation or have been killed by other predators. While sc...
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
A burrow is a hole or tunnel excavated into the ground by an animal to create a space suitable for habitation, temporary refuge, or as a byproduct ...
Among animals, viviparity is the development of the embryo inside the body of the parent. The term 'viviparity' and its adjective form 'viviparous'...
Altricial animals are those species whose newly hatched or born young are relatively immobile. They lack hair or down, are not able to obtain food ...
NoNot a migrant
Animals that do not make seasonal movements and stay in their native home ranges all year round are called not migrants or residents.
Once, this species was widespread and common in the southeastern Australia. Presently, the Eastern quolls have lost 50 - 90% of their original range, currently occurring in the wild only in Tasmania as well as on the nearby Bruny Island, where the species is thought to be introduced. This animal inhabits different environments such as grasslands, open forests, heaths, wet scrub, moorlands, woodlands and alpine habitats. In addition, the Eastern quolls favor agricultural areas and can often be seen in pastures adjacent to forest.
Eastern quolls are solitary animals. They generally avoid conspecifics and scent mark their home ranges. However, there have been seen pairs of socializing adult females. When an intruder appears on its territory, a quoll will hiss, cough and give out sharp shrieking sounds, which are thought to serve as an alarm call. If all these actions don't work, the quoll will resort to drastic measures, chasing and wrestling the opponent with its jaws while standing on its hind legs. The Eastern quolls are nocturnal animals. During the daytime hours, they rest in dens. They usually use underground burrows, fallen logs or piles of rocks as dens. Their burrows often have very simple structure, being merely blind-ending tunnels. However, sometimes the animals have one or more nesting chambers in their burrows, surrounded with grass. Each quoll has up to 5 dens, which it uses alternately. These terrestrial animals walk with leaping strides, and can climb on occasion.
The Eastern quolls are omnivores, they particularly favor the cockshafer beetles, corbie shrubs, dead animals as well as various fruits. A big part of their diet is composed of insects. They are also known to consume some vegetables and small vertebrates such as rats, rabbits, mice and small marsupial species.
The mating system of Eastern quolls is unknown. However, it is thought to be polygynous, as these animals are solitary and communicate only during the breeding season. The breeding season occurs in May - August. Gestation period lasts for 21 days and may yield up to 30 young, though each female is able to raise only 6 - 8 young in its pouch. The newborn quolls come out of the pouch at 10 weeks old, after which the mother can leave her offspring in the den in a burrow or hollow log, in order to forage and provide them with food. Young quolls are weaned, becoming independent in the late November, when they are 18 - 20 weeks old. Sexual maturity is reached within the first year of their lives.
Threats to the small population of this Near Threatened species are many. The animals presently face loss and fragmentation of their natural habitat combined with loss of large hollow logs, which they use as dens. They are hunted by foxes and cats as well as exposed to spread of disease from cats. On the other hand, poisoning by dingo baits negatively affect the population of Eastern quolls. Other concerns include competition for food and road accidents.
According to IUCN Red list, the total population of the Eastern quoll was estimated to be between 10,000 and 12,000 mature individuals. Although numbers of this species are stable today, it is classified as Near Threatened (NT) on the IUCN Red List.