Our Latest News

Join us for the Power of Parks forum at Launceston

22/07/2016

Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) in partnership with the University of Tasmania is exploring The Power of Parks through a series of UTAS public forums celebrating the benefits that parks and reserves provide to Tasmania's overall identify.More

Shipwreck identified as the Viola

19/07/2016

Timber samples from a ship wrecked on Tasmania's East Coast nearly 160 years ago have been identified as the Canadian-built brig Viola.More

Prosecution for Stanley penguin deaths

15/07/2016

The Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) and the Circular Head Council have conducted a joint investigation after 18 little penguins were found dead near a rookery in Stanley on the State's North-West coast last week.More

Carnivorous marsupials

The family Dasyuridae includes the well-known Tasmanian devil, eastern quolls (native cats), spotted-tailed quolls (tiger cats) and antechinuses (marsupial mice). The closely-related Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine, also a carnivorous marsupial, is classified in its own family, Thylacinidae.

Over forty species have been described from Australia and New Guinea. Seven occur in Tasmania:


The carnivorous marsupials are among the most impressive of hunting mammals. However, their smaller size, nocturnal habits and cryptic behaviour often leaves them overshadowed in the popular imagination by the conspicuous carnivores of Africa and Asia, such as leopards, tigers and lions.

As with all marsupials, the carnivorous species possess a pouch, although in some species, the pouch is little more than a mere fold. Typically, the young are carried within the pouch until such time that they are literally being dragged along the ground while the mother hunts. At this stage, the young are generally left in a den (such as a hollow log) while the mother hunts.

Although most of the members of this family are small, about the size of a rat, Tasmania has the distinction of being home to the four largest carnivorous marsupials in the world.