Spotted-tailed quoll community survey
The spotted-tailed quoll, or tiger quoll, is mainland Australia's largest carnivorous marsupial. It can be identified by its fur, which is rich red to dark brown, covered with white spots. These spots continue down the quoll's tail.
The spotted-tailed quoll is mainly nocturnal and terrestrial, although it is also an agile climber. It preys on birds, reptiles, small mammals and invertebrates as well as scavenging on carrion.
These animals are highly mobile. They can move up to several kilometres in a night and may have quite large territories. Within its territory, a spotted-tailed quoll will have 'latrine' sites where it defecates. These are often in exposed areas, such as on rocky outcrops.
Spotted-tailed quolls are mainly solitary animals. They make their dens in rock shelters, small caves, hollow logs and tree hollows. They use these dens for shelter and to raise young. Their breeding season is between April and July.
Where do they live?
The spotted-tailed quoll is found along both sides of the Great Dividing Range, from the Victorian to the Queensland borders. Scattered, unconfirmed records of the species have also been reported in the western parts of NSW.
Spotted-tailed quolls live in a variety of environments, including forests, woodlands, coastal heathlands and rainforests. They are sometimes seen in open country, grazed areas and rocky outcrops. They need suitable den sites and abundant food, requiring large areas of intact vegetation for foraging.
Are they threatened?
The spotted-tailed quoll is listed as a vulnerable species in NSW. Its distribution and population has dramatically declined, and the animal is now found over a restricted range. In many cases, quolls are living in isolated areas that may be too small to support viable long-term populations. This reduction has been caused by:
- Loss, fragmentation and degradation of suitable quoll habitat, through land clearing, change in fire patterns and logging.
- Loss of potential den sites such as large hollow logs.
- Foxes and cats, which prey on quolls and also compete with them for food. Feral cats can also spread diseases which affect quolls.
- Persecution by humans, who have often blamed quolls for the loss of stock and poultry.
- Wild dog baiting programs, which may result in quolls being accidentally poisoned.
Have you seen a spotted-tailed quoll? Let us know!
The Department of Environment and Conservation would like to find out where spotted-tailed quolls have been seen in NSW. It's the first step towards the recovery and future conservation of the species.
Spotted-tailed quolls are solitary animals and are often very difficult to find. You may find them by searching:
- Suitable environments at night with a spotlight or torch, particularly along roads and tracks
- Along roadsides, for animals killed by cars
- Exposed areas, such as rocky outcrops, which may be suitable for quoll latrine sites.
Quolls are also sometimes seen around buildings and garbage bins/dumps near areas of suitable habitat.
To report your spotted-tailed quoll sightings, please:
1. fill in the Wildlife Atlas spreadsheet, and
2. forward the completed spreadsheet or any inquiries to the Wildlife Data Unit.
Page last updated: 27 February 2011