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Eastern Quoll

Current status

Photo of eastern quoll by S. Bryant.

The Eastern quoll (Dasyurus viverrinus) is not listed under either the Federal or State Acts, as it does not fit the criteria for listing. It is extinct on the mainland. In 1994 the Vertebrate Advisory Committee listed it as a species of unknown risk status requiring further monitoring.

Why isn't the Eastern quoll listed as threatened in Tasmania?

The Eastern quoll is still widespread and locally common in Tasmania. It was believed to be extinct on the mainland as there were no sightings since the 1960s. However, there have been several claims of sightings in northern NSW which are being investigated, although to date there have been no confirmed sightings.

The Eastern quoll used to be very common on the east coast of Australia. Late last century their numbers declined rapidly. This is likely to be the result of habitat loss and introduction of exotic predators and competitors such as foxes and cats. Should foxes become established in Tasmania the continued survival of the eastern quoll would be in doubt.

What is being done?

At present there is a survey to establish the status of both of Tasmania's quoll species - the Eastern and Spotted-tail quoll. A monitoring program is also being set up to ensure their populations remain stable. Tasmania is the last chance for the eastern quoll's survival in the wild. This small mongoose-like marsupial feeds on invertebrates, small vertebrates and some berries. Like the bandicoot it helps farmers by acting as a natural control on many pasture and crop pests. It will benefit from schemes like Land for Wildlife which encourages farmers to retain or replant native vegetation on farms, as well as public education about responsible pet ownership, in particular, keeping cats in at night.

The Spotted-tail quoll, a close relative of the Eastern quoll, is now listed as vulnerable under the Federal Act, and rare under the Tasmanian Act.

View Distribution Map

Recommended further reading:

The Australian Museum 1983. Complete book of Australian Mammals. Ed. R. Strahan. Angus and Robertson.

Notesheet available Parks and Wildlife Service, Tasmania

Wildlife: Quolls 1996. Living With Wildlife: Tasmanian devils and quolls 1996.