Tiger Quoll

Tiger Quoll

Spotted-tailed dasyure, Spotted-tailed native cat, Tiger cat, Spotted-tailed quoll, Spotted-tail quoll, Spotted quoll, Spotted-tail dasyure

Kingdom
Phylum
Subphylum
Class
Infraclass
Family
Genus
SPECIES
Dasyurus maculatus
Population size
14,000
Life Span
2-5 years
Top speed
24
15
km/hmph
km/h mph 
Weight
1.8-7
4-15.4
kglbs
kg lbs 
Length
69-113
27.2-44.5
cminch
cm inch 

The Tiger quoll (Dasyurus maculatus) is a carnivorous marsupial native to Australia. It is the world's second-largest extant carnivorous marsupial, behind the Tasmanian devil. The Tiger quoll is one the most violent animals, found in the Australian bush with a rather sturdy build and powerful teeth, helping it to rip the meat of its prey and crush invertebrates. It has the second most powerful bite relative to the body size of any living mammalian carnivore.

No

Nocturnal

Ca

Carnivore

Te

Terrestrial

Ar

Arboreal

Al

Altricial

Bu

Burrowing

Sc

Scansorial

Te

Territorial

Vi

Viviparous

Pu

Pursuit predator

Po

Polygyny

Ge

Generally solitary

No

Not a migrant

T

starts with

Sp

Spotted Animals
(collection)

Appearance

The Tiger quoll is the largest of the quolls. It has relatively short legs, but its tail is as long as its body and head combined. It has a thick head and neck and a slightly rounded and elongated snout. It has five toes on each foot, both front and hind, and the hind feet have well-developed halluces. Its long pink foot pads are ridged, an adaptation for its arboreal lifestyle. This makes up for the fact that its tail is not prehensile. The Tiger quoll usually has a reddish-brown pelage (a minority have black fur) with white spots, and colorations do not change seasonally. It is the only quoll species with spots on its tail in addition to its body. Its fur and skin are covered in orange-brown-coloured oil. The underside is typically greyish or creamy white.

Video

Distribution

Geography

Tiger quolls occur in Tasmania and mainland Australia, where these animals are presented by two distinct sup-species: those found from Tasmania to southern Queensland; and northern Queensland sub-species that are comparatively smaller. Within their home range, these animals inhabit a wide variety of habitats, generally preferring rainforests, closed canopy Eucalyptus forests, creeks and river forests. When foraging, they frequent adjoining woodlands and open pasturelands.

Tiger Quoll habitat map

Climate zones

Tiger Quoll habitat map
Tiger Quoll
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Habits and Lifestyle

Tiger quolls are generally solitary animals. Home ranges of male individuals are usually larger, overlapping with those of females and other males. Females fiercely defend their home ranges against other females, except for female juveniles. These animals are nocturnal: they hunt by night, spending their daytime hours resting in underground hollows, which serve them as dens. However, Tiger quolls are known to occasionally come out of their dens during the day in order to forage or sunbathe. About a tenth of their time is spent moving around above the surface of the ground or in trees. When hunting, a quoll stalks its prey, stopping only when its head is up. It then launches its attack, executing a killing bite. The quoll will pin small prey down with its fore paws and then deliver the bite. With large prey, it jumps and latches on its back and bites the neck. Tiger quolls are mainly silent, although they do vocalize when communicating with conspecifics. Thus, mothers communicate with their offspring through a special clucking call to which the babies respond. When threatened, these animals try to turn away the opponent by emitting growls and high-pitched scary sounds.

Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

As carnivores, Tiger quolls generally feed upon possums, bandicoots, pademelons, rats, gliders, and other small to medium-sized mammals. They supplement their diet with reptiles, birds, insects, and occasional carrion.

Mating Habits

MATING BEHAVIOR
REPRODUCTION SEASON
April-July
PREGNANCY DURATION
21 days
BABY CARRYING
5 pups
INDEPENDENT AGE
18-21 weeks
BABY NAME
pup

Tiger quolls are polygynous, which means that one male mates with multiple females. They breed in April-July. The gestation period in this species lasts for 21 days, yielding 5 young on average. The babies are then moved to the pouch of their mother, where they continue to grow for the following 12 weeks. Then the mother begins feeding her offspring by bringing food into her pouch. The female does not carry her young on her back. However, the babies tend to rest on their mother and cling to her if threatened. Full independence is reached at 18-21 weeks old, while the age of reproductive maturity is one year old.

Population

Population threats

The biggest threat to this species is habitat loss as a result of urban development and fragmentation of their range. Furthermore, the situation is compounded by competition with other animals, with which they share similar habitats. On the other hand, the Tiger quolls are hunted by both native and non-native predators, including Red foxes or feral cats. And finally, these animals are poisoned by taking traps with 1080 poisoning baits, targeting dingoes.

Population number

According to the IUCN Red List, the total Tiger quoll population is around 14,000 mature individuals, including a small population in north-eastern Queensland, which is estimated to be less than 1,000 individuals. Currently, this species is classified as Near Threatened (NT) on the IUCN Red List, and its numbers today are decreasing.

Fun Facts for Kids

  • According to records of Captain Cook, who collected these animals along the east coast in 1770, 'quoll' is an Aboriginal name, given to this species.
  • In order to communicate with conspecifics, quolls use various vocalizations such as hisses, cries, or screams. Meanwhile, the cry of this species resembles the noise of a circular saw. This might be a reason why they got their fearsome ‘tiger’ reputation.
  • The primary forms of communication in this species are olfactory and auditory signals rather than visual signals. When greeting each other, Tiger quolls typically use nose-to-nose sniffs as well as mouth and ear secretions.
  • These animals are known to have special communal latrines, found in open areas and intended for marking the territory and many other social functions.
  • Tiger quolls have lovely, pink-colored noses. In addition, their bodies and tails are covered with white markings.
  • Due to its powerful jaws, the bite of the Tiger quoll is so mighty that exceeds the Spotted hyena or African lion taken together.
  • A newborn baby of the Tiger quoll is the size of a grain of rice.
  • This agile animal is able to travel a distance of over 6 km (3.7 miles) per night. In addition, the home range of each individual covers a large territory of up to 500 hectares.

References

1. Tiger Quoll Wikipedia article - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiger_quoll
2. Tiger Quoll on The IUCN Red List site - http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/6300/0

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