Animal of the month – Eastern Quoll

We spoke with Ranger Mike about Eastern quolls this week! He describes these animals as cute, fun and small (about the size of a ring tail possum!) Mike used to work in a quoll breeding program which is why he knows so much! He now works as a Ranger to manage the foxes and cats at Grampians/Gariwerd National Park. Let’s read what Mike has to say about Eastern quolls!

Eastern quolls became extinct (never to be found again) on mainland Australia in the 1950’s. Farmers thought quolls were like native cats because they ate chickens! So, farmers started to reduce the number of quolls and soon, they could only be found in Tasmania!

Eastern quolls are a yellow brown, tawny colour with spots. Sometimes black with white spots. Eastern quolls enjoying eating meat and plants (called an omnivore) and are a marsupial. Quolls are very quick and will eat most things their size which are in their way! Females can birth up to 30 young in one litter but only 6 survive.

What is your favorite quality about Eastern quolls?

Eastern quolls are great because they are friendly and nice little animals (Mike has a soft spot for them.)

What is important about Eastern quolls?

These little animals are the missing link in the landscape. There aren’t native predators in the landscape. There are foxes and cats, but they are introduced. Foxes and cats will just eat and eat. Quolls are selective.

What happened to Eastern quolls?

Only a couple of generations ago (think of your great, great grandparents) quolls were common, they were like rabbits. European settlers didn’t like them. So, quoll numbers dropped quickly. When foxes and cats were introduced, they liked to eat quolls. The numbers of quolls in the landscape started to get smaller and smaller.

What is happening now to Eastern quolls?

There are breeding programs in Tasmania and Victoria. These programs are bringing the numbers of the quolls up! But they are in captive breeding programs. This means that there are special teams who look after the quolls to help them survive.

Thank you Junior Rangers for reading my short story about eastern quolls, I hope you liked it!

All the best, Ranger Mike!

Thank you to Ranger Mike for sitting down and telling us what he knows about Eastern Quolls! We really liked reading your story. Thank you to Kai at Dunkeld Pastoral, a conservation organisation in Southern Grampians for supplying the images.