Dasyurus viverrinus

Description

Eastern Quolls have a tapering snout, short legs, and erect ears. They can be distinguished from all other species of Quoll by the presence of only four toes, rather than five, on the hind feet, lacking the hallux (big toe). They have a thick coat covered by white spots, that can be either light fawn or near black, with off-white underparts stretching from the chin to the underside of the tail.

Distribution

The Eastern Quoll was formerly found across southeastern mainland Australia, however died out on the continent around 1963, but remains widespread in Tasmania.

Lifespan

The lifespan of the Eastern Quoll is 4 - 7 years.

Size

Eastern Quolls are generally about the size of a small domestic cat, with adult males measuring 53 to 66 cm in total length, and having an average weight of 1.1 kg. Females are significantly smaller, measuring 48 to 58 cm and weighing around 0.7 kg.

Diet

Quolls are mostly carnivorous. They primarily eat insects, birds, frogs, lizards and fruit.

Habitat

Eastern Quolls inhabit rainforest, heathland, alpine areas, and scrub below 1,500 m. However, they prefer dry grassland and forest mosaics, bounded by agricultural land, particularly where pasture grubs are common.

Breeding

The Eastern Quolls breeding season begins in early winter. The oestrus cycle lasts 34 days, although most individuals mate during their first cycle of the year. The female gives birth to up to twenty young after a gestation period of 19 to 24 days. Of these, the first to attach themselves to the available six teats will be the only survivors.

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