Tiger quolls or spotted-tail quolls are carnivorous marsupials and members of the Dasyurus genus of animals, and they are the only quolls to have spotted tails. Their numbers have decreased over the years with the change of their habitats along with other reasons and thus, they are considered ‘Near Threatened’ according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature or IUCN.
Description, Size and Weight
At a length ranges from 1.5 kg up to 3.5 kg and a weight of 742 mm to 822 mm, the tiger quolls are the largest of the entire quoll species. Males are larger than the females are as adults. These animals have light brown coats with white spots, including their tails, and creamy white or grey undersides. Since their legs are short with a wide opening between the front and back ones, these quolls are not as fast of runners in comparison to other species of quolls.
Tiger quolls live in Eastern Australia throughout New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland along with Tasmania where there are rainforests and eculypt forests. They burrow into the ground to make their homes, or use hollow logs or trees, or crevices in rock formations for this same purpose. Threats to their natural habitats include land-clearing efforts, which divides the habitat areas and increases the risk of predators killing these animals.
Spotted-tail quolls are primarily night hunters. Their main food sources come from small wallabies, rabbits, gliders, possums, road-kill, eggs and birds along with other animals.
Tiger quolls mate once annually, typically around midwinter in Australia, which is June and July, but this can happen a bit earlier at times. The gestation period for these quolls is 21 days and females may give birth to as many as five or six babies. Young tiger quolls suckle in the mother’s pouch for a couple of months until they immerge to learn about life. They are independent by 18-weeks old and gain full maturity by one year of age.
Spotted-tail quolls are nocturnal animals, which means they sleep during the day and hunt for food at night. They can move above the forest floor quite agilely from tree to tree. Along with this, they are solitary creatures.
Tiger quolls have a short lifespan of about three to five years in the wild. Since sexual maturity is reached by age one, females can produce a litter each year of their lives. At times, though, females may not give birth to their first litter until age two.
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