Distribution: Parts of northern Australia (WA, NT and QLD)
Habitat: Rocky escarpments, eucalypt forests, woodlands and around human settlements
Description: The Northern Quoll is Australia’s smallest quoll and is about the size of a small cat. Males are larger than females. Northern Quolls are brown with white spots on their back, rump and head and have a creamy white belly. Their tail measures 20–34 cm and doesn’t usually have spots.
Diet: Northern Quolls are omnivores. Their diet consists of invertebrates, plants, small mammals, birds, reptiles, frogs and bird eggs. They also scavenge road kill, sometimes with fatal consequences as they are struck by cars themselves.
In the Wild: Mostly nocturnal, Northern Quolls are both terrestrial (land-dwelling) and arboreal (tree-dwelling). Males and females are solitary and maintain their own territories. They set up various dens in anything from rock crevices and tree hollows to termite mounds and roofs of houses.
Northern Quolls live short lives. Most males die soon after mating and females usually only survive one breeding season. They breed once a year and usually produce six in a litter. They are mature at 11 months.
Threats: Northern Quoll numbers are declining. Their predators include dingos, feral cats, snakes, owls and kites. They are also killed by domestic dogs, motor vehicles and pesticide poisoning. The spread of the Cane Toad into the Northern Territory has led to local extinctions of Northern Quolls. The quolls die after eating the poisonous Cane Toad.
At Perth Zoo: Perth Zoo’s Northern Quolls are on display in the Nocturnal House.
Join the Perth Zoo-coordinated Night Stalk from 1 September to 16 October and spotlight for native animals in your local bushland. Night Stalk is a great way to become involved in community conservation action and to learn about our native animals, their habitat and their threats. Night Stalk is sponsored by Tronox.
Did you know? Quolls are sometimes called native cats. Unfortunately, they have suffered from the introduction of the domestic cat. There are four species of quoll in Australia – the Western Quoll (or Chuditch), the Northern Quoll, the Spotted-tailed (or Tiger) Quoll and the Eastern Quoll. Before European settlement they were found across Australia but now they are found in restricted areas and most are threatened with extinction.
The Northern Quoll exhibit is proudly sponsored by BC Iron Limited.