The spotted-tailed quoll is the Australian mainland’s largest carnivorous marsupial and is listed as a threatened species in all areas where it occurs across Australia.
In New South Wales, spotted-tailed quolls mainly live in forests and woodlands of the slopes and ranges of the Great Divide and on coastal escarpments and plains. Quolls typically move along creek lines to hunt for gliders, possums, bandicoots, rats, birds and lizards. They use hollow logs, rocky outcrops and crevices to shelter and raise their young. Read more about quoll ecology on our Equollogy webpage.
While the quolls' natural habitat is the forest, they have learnt to travel across open country and, with home ranges of up to 3,000 hectares, they can turn up almost anywhere. Recent road kill sightings of quolls in urban Canberra and Wollongong show their capacity to search far and wide for food. This means that no matter where you live, if you have chooks, you’re very likely to have a quoll check them out at some point.
Historically, quolls were treated as pests and were trapped, shot or poisoned by people protecting their chooks. Occasionally, quolls died from injuries sustained from trying to enter or exit chook pens. These practices have contributed to a decline in quoll numbers, and quolls are now listed as a threatened species in New South Wales.
To help enjoy the experience of quolls visiting your property and have peace of mind about the welfare of your prized hens, we’ve pulled together a few tips to help you quoll-proof your hen house, including quoll-proof designs. Quoll-proofing your hen house also keeps out other predators and egg thieves, such as foxes, dogs, goannas, pythons and ravens.