#CreatureFeature – Dasyurus geoffroii (Western Quoll) 

The Western Quoll, also known as the Chuditch, is Western Australia’s largest native endemic mammalian carnivore. The species is currently classed as near threatened due to the predation of foxes and cats. 

Description 

Western Quolls are the size of a domestic cat. Males being 1.3kg and females at 0.9kg. They are brown with several white spots on their back, they have a black brush on their tail extending halfway down their tail to the tip.  

Photo: Australian Wildlife Conservancy

Their characteristic white spots are thought to help with camouflage in the moonlight when moving around at night, although the Noongar dreamtime stories say the spots are marks from where the Chuditch was speared by another possum after a fight over the affections of an emu. 

Ecology 

Their diet is made up of large invertebrates and a variety of reptiles, birds and mammals. The Western Quoll are mostly nocturnal, being active hunters throughout the night and seeking shelter in burrows and hollow logs during the day. Chuditch have a lifespan of up to three years and become sexually mature at the age of one, their young are born between May and September and are independent at six months of age. 

Range 

Nearly 70% of the Australian mainland was previously inhabited by Western Quolls. Following the European settlement their range declined rapidly. They are now confined throughout the southern parts of Western Australia, living in mostly jarrah forests with subpopulations in the WA Wheatbelt and Goldfield regions. 

Paige Kirby – Biodiversity Trainee

Title Photo: Penny Ash

Related Posts

Leave a reply