At the time of European settlement, western quolls could be found over most of the continent, occurring in every mainland state and territory except the ACT. The spread of the introduced fox was closely followed by collapses in western quoll populations, and it currently only survives in a small corner of southwest Western Australia which makes up less than 2 percent of its former range!
Like its cousins, the western quoll is more than happy to tackle prey as large or larger than itself. Rabbits, bandicoots and full grown goannas are commonly eaten, and western quolls also have a taste for invertebrates and seafood, with freshwater crustaceans a particular favourite. While they food mainly on the ground, they occasionally climb small trees to catch prey or avoid predators.
Though small, western quolls play the role of a top predator, and males can have home ranges larger than 400 hectares. Females will aggressively defend their territories against other females, while male ranges overlap the territories of numerous females and other males. Like all quolls, western quolls have extremely short life spans, with few making it past 3 years in the wild.
Population Size – Less than 10,000
Population Trend – Stable
Main Threats – Foxes, Cats, Vehicle strike
The Western Quoll is more closely related to the Bronze Quoll of Papua New Guinea than any of the other Australian quoll species.
Thanks to a partnership between government, private companies and NGOs, western quolls have been reintroduced into the Flinders Ranges in South Australia. The species, locally known as the Idnya, was last seen in the area in the 1880s, but is now making a comeback thanks to intensive fox and cat control.
Radiotracking and trapping surveys in 2018 showed that the population was not just surviving, but also increasing, even in drought conditions that was creating hard times for most wildlife. With more properties in the area agreeing to conduct feral animal control, the future looks bright for this particular population of western quolls.
WESTERN QUOLL or CHUDITCH