Thursday, May 16, 2013

Q (2) is for QUOLL

CONSERVATION STATUS:  ENDANGERED (now vulnerable?).  The Western Quoll (Dasyurus geoffroyi) commonly known as the chudditch and also known as the western native cat.  This species has become endangered due to loss of habitat and increased predator activity  Fires also account for much of its habitat loss.  The chudditch can be found in the jarrah forest located in south Western Australia, the population of the species in that location is estimated at 3,000 animals.  This species is regarded as the largest marsupial predator located in Western Australia.

The chudditch prefers dryer climates such as the open savannah and dry woodlands.  It will live in a burrow (that can be dug by another animal or itself) or in a tree hollow.   Although a chudditch prefers to remain on the ground it can climb trees with ease if necessary which makes it easier for it to catch tree-dwelling animals. In the wild this species is mostly spotted alone; in captivity the chudditch will live in a group.

The tail accounts for nearly half of the total body measurement of the chudditch.  the head and body average about 330mm, with the tail averaging 280mm in length.  This species can weigh as much as 2 kg, with females weighing less than males.  The tail has thin (lacking density) fur that is a grey tan colour that fades into a black on the bottom half.  There is creamy white fur on the underbelly of the chudditch.

The chudditch is a carnivore and feeds mostly on large invertebrates.  It also eats small lizard, birds and mammals.  This species is well adjusted to live with humans and will eat trash from rubbish bins if necessary.  Also, the chudditch will attack a chicken farm or even a chicken coop.

A chudditch is ready to breed at about one year old.  Breeding occurs during the winter months (May-July).  Allthough there is a short gestation period (about 16 days), females only give birth to one litter each year.  A single litter can include 7 or 8 young, but usually average 6. Around 90 days after birth, young leave the mother's pouch but remain with the group.  The average lifespan of a wild chudditch is unknown, however one lived in captivity for 6 years.

The main threats to the chudditch are loss of habitat through land clearing and predation by feral predators, such as foxes and cats.  The Perth Zoo is involved in a very successful breeding programme with the Department of Environment and Conservatiion, which has resulted in the release of five populations of captive-bred chudditch into feral-proofed environments in Western Australia.  This programme has been so successful that the status of the chudditch has been downlisted from endangerd to vulnerable.

Did you know?  The spotted pattern of the chudditch's coat helps to break up its outline in the moonlight, protecting it from predators and masking its movements throughout woodland.  I think he is very beautiful.

I've been told he's not a creature you'd want to fall out with!!  Very sharp teeth!!


  1. They remind me a little of Tasmanian Devils - though I am not quite sure why. And a conservation SUCCESS story - hooray. And thank you.

    1. I think I can understand why they do remind you of the Tassie Devil. We are hoping they will manage to survive OK.

  2. That is the cutest little chicken eater I have ever seen.Love knowing more about your unusual animals across the big pond:) Hug B

  3. He is truly gorgeous (as long as he's not eating your chickens eh?) I am so glad you are enjoying these animal posts. Perhaps birds next?