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Is that a cat? No, it’s a quoll

7 November 2010 No Comment

Spotted quoll Cradle Mountain National parkIf you are lucky, you will see quolls when you visit Cradle Mountain National Park.
Quolls are very cute little marsupials, and come in two varieties!

When you first spot a Spotted Tail quoll, you might think you are looking at a cat. This is because the quoll, with its beautiful ginger fur, is about the same size as a fluffy, well-fed cat. But then you will notice the difference – as these quolls have big white spots on their body and tail.

Spotted Tail quolls are so rare they are protected in Tasmania. They eat huge numbers of rats, possums, small wallabies, reptiles and insects, and can even catch small birds.

The second variety is the much more common, pale gold Eastern quoll, which is much smaller and doesn’t have those spots on its tail. Their favourite dinner is insects and grubs, but they also eat rabbits, mice and rats.

Quolls sleep most of the day under rocks or fallen logs, or even an old wombat burrow. They usually only come out to feed at night, but they do come out during the day to lie in the sun or feed on food scraps people leave behind.

You will see the quolls they hop around the rocks, hunting for titbits, or even trying to break into unguarded backpacks.

Quolls carry their young around with them in a pouch on their body. They are carnivores, so eat lots of meat with their very sharp teeth.

Don’t ever be tempted to try to pat a quoll. They are bold, fierce and brave hunters, and those sharp teeth that can give you a nasty bite. So, just watch them as they move about, and make sure you take lots of photos.

Although Cradle Mountain National Park is a very good place to see these lovely little animals, you might not see one during the day. But you can always grab your torch and go for a quiet walk after dark, to do a bit of quoll spotting.

Image: Shuttergirl3 – Flickr

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