Nature conservation

Threatened species

Spotted-tailed Quoll - profile

Indicative distribution


   Loading map...
Key:
known
predicted
The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Dasyurus maculatus
Conservation status in NSW: Vulnerable
Commonwealth status: Endangered
Profile last updated: 07 Sep 2017

Description

The Spotted-tailed Quoll is about the size of a domestic cat, from which it differs most obviously in its shorter legs and pointed face. The average weight of an adult male is about 3500 grams and an adult female about 2000 grams. It has rich-rust to dark-brown fur above, with irregular white spots on the back and tail, and a pale belly. The spotted tail distinguishes it from all other Australian mammals, including other quoll species. However, the spots may be indistinct on juvenile animals.

Distribution

The range of the Spotted-tailed Quoll has contracted considerably since European settlement. It is now found in eastern NSW, eastern Victoria, south-east and north-eastern Queensland, and Tasmania. Only in Tasmania is it still considered relatively common.

Habitat and ecology

  • Recorded across a range of habitat types, including rainforest, open forest, woodland, coastal heath and inland riparian forest, from the sub-alpine zone to the coastline.
  • Individual animals use hollow-bearing trees, fallen logs, small caves, rock outcrops and rocky-cliff faces as den sites.
  • Mostly nocturnal, although will hunt during the day; spends most of the time on the ground, although also an excellent climber and will hunt possums and gliders in tree hollows and prey on roosting birds.
  • Use communal ‘latrine sites’, often on flat rocks among boulder fields, rocky cliff-faces or along rocky stream beds or banks. Such sites may be visited by multiple individuals and can be recognised by the accumulation of the sometimes characteristic ‘twisty-shaped’ faeces deposited by animals.
  • A generalist predator with a preference for medium-sized (500g-5kg) mammals. Consumes a variety of prey, including gliders, possums, small wallabies, rats, birds, bandicoots, rabbits, reptiles and insects. Also eats carrion and takes domestic fowl.
  • Females occupy home ranges of 200-500 hectares, while males occupy very large home ranges from 500 to over 4000 hectares. Are known to traverse their home ranges along densely vegetated creeklines.
  • Average litter size is five; both sexes mature at about one year of age. Life expectancy in the wild is about 3-4 years.

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Threats

Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
Australian AlpsSnowy Mountains Known None
Brigalow Belt SouthLiverpool Plains Known None
Brigalow Belt SouthLiverpool Range Known None
Brigalow Belt SouthMoonie-Barwon Interfluve Predicted None
Brigalow Belt SouthNorthern Basalts Predicted None
Brigalow Belt SouthPilliga Known None
Brigalow Belt SouthPilliga Outwash Known None
Brigalow Belt SouthTalbragar Valley Predicted None
Cobar PeneplainCanbelego Downs Predicted None
Cobar PeneplainNymagee Predicted None
Darling Riverine PlainsBogan-Macquarie Known None
Darling Riverine PlainsCastlereagh-Barwon Known None
Darling Riverine PlainsWarrambool-Moonie Predicted None
NandewarKaputar Known None
NandewarPeel Known None
New England TablelandsArmidale Plateau Known None
New England TablelandsBeardy River Hills Predicted None
New England TablelandsBinghi Plateau Known None
New England TablelandsDeepwater Downs Known None
New England TablelandsEastern Nandewars Known None
New England TablelandsEbor Basalts Known None
New England TablelandsGlenn Innes-Guyra Basalts Known None
New England TablelandsMoredun Volcanics Predicted None
New England TablelandsNightcap Known None
New England TablelandsNortheast Forest Lands Known None
New England TablelandsRound Mountain Known None
New England TablelandsSevern River Volcanics Known None
New England TablelandsStanthorpe Plateau Known None
New England TablelandsTenterfield Plateau Known None
New England TablelandsTingha Plateau Known None
New England TablelandsWalcha Plateau Known None
New England TablelandsWongwibinda Plateau Known None
NSW North CoastBarrington Known None
NSW North CoastCarrai Plateau Known None
NSW North CoastCataract Known None
NSW North CoastChaelundi Known None
NSW North CoastCoffs Coast and Escarpment Known None
NSW North CoastComboyne Plateau Known None
NSW North CoastDalmorton Known None
NSW North CoastEllerston Known None
NSW North CoastGuy Fawkes Known None
NSW North CoastKaruah Manning Known None
NSW North CoastMacleay Gorges Known None
NSW North CoastMacleay Hastings Known None
NSW North CoastMummel Escarpment Known None
NSW North CoastRocky River Gorge Known None
NSW North CoastTomalla Known None
NSW North CoastUpper Hunter Known None
NSW North CoastUpper Manning Known None
NSW North CoastWashpool Known None
NSW North CoastYuraygir Known None
NSW South Western SlopesCapertee Valley Known None
NSW South Western SlopesInland Slopes Known None
NSW South Western SlopesLower Slopes Known None
OceanBatemans Shelf Known None
OceanHawkesbury Shelf Known None
OceanManning Shelf Known None
OceanTwofold Shelf Known None
Other StateACT Known None
Other StateJervis Bay Territory Predicted None
Other StateQLD Known None
Other StateVIC Known None
RiverinaMurray Fans Known None
South East CornerBateman Known None
South East CornerEast Gippsland Lowlands Known None
South East CornerSouth East Coastal Ranges Known None
South Eastern HighlandsBathurst Known None
South Eastern HighlandsBondo Known None
South Eastern HighlandsBungonia Known None
South Eastern HighlandsCapertee Uplands Known None
South Eastern HighlandsCrookwell Known None
South Eastern HighlandsHill End Known None
South Eastern HighlandsKanangra Known None
South Eastern HighlandsKybeyan-Gourock Known None
South Eastern HighlandsMonaro Known None
South Eastern HighlandsMurrumbateman Known None
South Eastern HighlandsOberon Known None
South Eastern HighlandsOrange Known None
South Eastern QueenslandBurringbar-Conondale Ranges Known None
South Eastern QueenslandClarence Lowlands Known None
South Eastern QueenslandClarence Sandstones Known None
South Eastern QueenslandScenic Rim Known None
South Eastern QueenslandSunshine Coast-Gold Coast Lowlands Predicted None
South Eastern QueenslandWoodenbong Known None
Sydney BasinBurragorang Known None
Sydney BasinCumberland Known None
Sydney BasinEttrema Known None
Sydney BasinHunter Known None
Sydney BasinIllawarra Known None
Sydney BasinJervis Known None
Sydney BasinKerrabee Known None
Sydney BasinMoss Vale Known None
Sydney BasinPittwater Known None
Sydney BasinSydney Cataract Known None
Sydney BasinWollemi Known None
Sydney BasinWyong Known None
Sydney BasinYengo Known None