Quolls are carnivorous marsupials native to Australia and New Guinea. They are primarily nocturnal and spend most of the day in a den. Of the six species of quoll, four are found in Australia and they are common throughout the Blue Mountains. Quolls can survive in many different types of habitats, including alpine woodlands, rainforests, shrublands, and urban areas such as parks and gardens.
What do quolls eat?
Quolls are carnivores and feed on small reptiles, frogs, birds, including chickens and mammals. They typically hunt between dusk and dawn, but will also actively hunt in daylight during winter when food may be scarce. For example, in one study quolls were observed feeding on flying foxes in broad daylight at Pheasant Creek Reserve near Wauchope on the mid-north coast of New South Wales. The grey quoll is known to prey on domestic poultry. The animals have scent glands located between their front paws that emit an odour for which they are named; it is thought that it helps attract mates or repel predators (particularly dingoes). The stinkiest species, according to a 2003 smell test conducted by Australian Wildlife Conservancy scientists, was found to be eastern quolls. In captivity, all species eat dead mice from pet shops.
How do quolls catch their prey?
Like many other carnivores, quolls rely on their keen sense of smell to detect prey. But if their sense of smell isn’t enough, they rely on eyesight and hearing as well. The spotted-tailed quoll, for example, has large green eyes and ultra-sensitive ears that allow it to capture its prey during both day and night hours. The tiger quoll has large white spots across its fur that camouflages it in its environment; it has excellent vision that helps it stalk its prey at night when most species are asleep in dens or burrows. Each species of quoll is unique but all have certain traits that help them survive off Australia’s harsh landscape.
In addition to being hunted by larger predators such as dingoes, crocodiles and eagles, quolls also fight each other over territory. Many young male quolls die because they cannot compete with older ones who have established territories and therefore access to more food sources than younger ones who haven’t had time to develop these skills just yet.
Where do Quolls live?
Quolls are found in eastern Australia and can be spotted throughout much of New South Wales, Victoria, and parts of Queensland. They were introduced to Tasmania in 1931. In their native environment, they prefer to live in areas that are densely covered with vegetation but are also at least somewhat close to an open water source. Large trees that provide shelter during the day make good den locations for these animals when they’re not out hunting or looking for mates.
Unlike many other carnivores, quolls will actually seek out areas that contain human structures such as sheds, or even houses if it means creating a safe area for themselves in which to sleep. While any area where humans don’t have too great of a presence will do just fine as far as habitat goes, dens located closer to homes tend to attract more people who may wander too close while quolls are resting.