Western Quolls are the size of a domestic cat and are Western Australia’s largest endemic carnivore. Predation by feral cats and foxes is a serious threat to the persistence of Western Quolls. AWC protects this species at Paruna and Mount Gibson Wildlife Sanctuaries in WA using a comprehensive feral predator control program.
AWC protects the Western Quoll at Paruna Wildlife Sanctuary using a comprehensive feral predator control program, which sees feral cat and fox numbers controlled using trapping and baiting.
In May 2023, AWC also reintroduced the Western Quoll to Mount Gibson Wildlife Sanctuary in the WA Wheatbelt. Assisted by WA Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA), 11 quolls were sourced from Julimar State Forest and released outside Mount Gibson’s 7,800 hectare feral predator-free fenced area. Another 33 quolls were sourced from Greater Kingston National Park and Perup Nature Reserve in June 2023, and translocated to the sanctuary.
Predation by feral cats and foxes is a serious threat to the persistence of Western Quolls. Habitat modification is likely to have contributed to the decline of Western Quolls through the combined influences of land clearing, inappropriate fire regimes and grazing by both stock and feral herbivores. Illegal shooting and poisoning is also likely to be partly responsible for the disappearance of Western Quolls from heavily populated and agricultural areas.
Western Quolls are the size of a domestic cat and are Western Australia’s largest endemic carnivore. Males are 1.3 kg, females 0.9 kg. Individuals have brown fur with numerous conspicuous white spots on their back and sides. They also have a black brush on the tail, extending from half-way down their tail to the tip.
Western Quolls are solitary animals with very large home ranges; a reflection of their carnivorous feeding habits. Their diet is made up of large invertebrates and a variety of reptiles, birds and mammals (up the size of bandicoots and parrots). Animals are primarily nocturnal, hunting at night and sheltering in hollow logs or burrows during the day. Young are born between May and September and are independent at about six months of age. Individuals become sexually mature at one year of age and usually do not live beyond three years.
Range and Abundance
Western Quolls were once present in a wide variety of habitats across nearly 70% of the Australian mainland. Following European settlement, their range contracted dramatically. They are now found only in the south-western corner of Western Australia and even within this region their distribution is patchy. Western Quolls are most abundant in areas of contiguous Jarrah forest with small, isolated subpopulations in the WA Wheatbelt and Goldfields regions. The species disappeared from the Swan Coastal Plain and surrounds by the 1930s but there has been some recent evidence of a return to these areas.
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