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Spotted-tailed Quoll - Dasyurus maculatus

Every now and again on the property, I come across something beautiful and sad all at the same time. Today I came upon an injured, but already deceased, Spotted-tail Quoll in near perfect condition. Spotted-tailed Quolls are endemic to Australia, and in Tasmania are naturally rare (Rounsevell et al. 1991). Sadly they are listed as Near Threatened under criteria A2c; C1. (IUCN Red List 2022). The Spotted-tailed Quoll is found in forests, woodlands, rainforest, coastal heaths and coastal wet scrub, estuarine areas, and rocky headlands (Maxwell et al. 1996).

Measuring 77cm from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail, perhaps this quoll was a female as they tend to be smaller than the males. It is dearly hoped that this is not the end of this species on our property, as they have been around here since at least 2010 when we moved here. At one stage, we even had a quoll living in our roof! It used to come down each night through the walls in my office and I would see it pop it's little head out from under the house and gallop out towards the bush around dusk!

The Spotted-tailed Quoll - deceased, in the forest
The Spotted-tailed Quoll - found deceased

Unfortunately, ending up as road kill is cited as could be a significant factor in deaths. (Maxwell et al. 1996)(IUCN Red List 2022). The body of the quoll was found on a private road, but difficult to tell if it was actually killed due to car collision, particularly on such a quiet track not overly used at night, nor high speed. It looked to have a gouge out of it's neck area which caused it's demise. Hopefully another animal will take advantage of the death of this quoll and use it as food to survive in the circle of life.

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