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Dasyurus hallucatus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA DASYUROMORPHIA DASYURIDAE

Scientific Name: Dasyurus hallucatus
Species Authority: Gould, 1842
Common Name(s):
English Northern Quoll
French Chat Marsupial Du Nord
Synonym(s):
Satanellus hallucatus (Gould, 1842)

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered A2ce+3ce+4ce ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Oakwood, M., Woinarski, J. & Burnett, S.
Reviewer(s): Lamoreux, J. & Hilton-Taylor, C. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
Listed as Endangered because of a serious population decline, estimated to exceed 50% over the last 10 years, and one that is projected to continue at a similar rate over the next 10 years based on the effects of habitat destruction and/or degradation, cane toads, and introduced predators.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The Northern Quoll occurs in the northern parts of Australia. Historically, it occurred in northern Australia from Pilbara to south-east Queensland, extending inland as far south as Alexandria. More recently, there has been substantial decline in southern and eastern Queensland and the Cape York Peninsula. The Northern Quoll has apparently disappeared from most or all of the lower rainfall former range in the Northern Territory and south-east and south-west Kimberley. A substantial decline has also occurred in Pilbara (Maxwell et al. 1996). The species has been recorded from Groote Eylandt and the nearby North-east Island, Marchinbar Island (in the Wessel group), Inglis Island (in the English Company Islands group) and Vanderlin Island (Sir Edward Pellew group). It has also been recently translocated to Astell and Pobassoo Islands in the English Company island group (Woinarski 2005). This species occurs up to around 1,300 m asl.
Countries:
Native:
Australia
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The species is locally common, although it currently is undergoing declines across much of its range. Densities of 3-4 females per square kilometre in savanna woodland have been recorded (Oakwood 2002). Several studies suggest that there has been a recent, severe population declines in Kakadu National Park due to cane toads (Watson and Woinarski 2003; Oakwood 2004). This species is common in north-western Kimberley, particularly in near-coastal, high-rainfall areas (A. Burbidge pers. comm.).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The Northern Quoll occurs in a range of habitats including Eucalyptus open forest, monsoon rainforest, and savanna woodlands. The species is most abundant (and apparently with less fluctuations) in rocky environments. In north Queensland, it is most common in coastal and/or high altitude rocky areas and in drier habitats of upland tablelands (Maxwell et al. 1996). This species is a generalist, as it occurs in a wide range of habitats and its diet consists of a variety of invertebrates and small vertebrates (Woinarski 2005). The Northern Quoll shelters in hollow logs, rock crevices, caves, and tree hollows (Woinarski 2005). It is mostly a ground-dwelling species, but is also an adept climber (Woinarski 2005).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Current threats are uncertain, but the species may be vulnerable to disease, possibly related to the presence of cats. Cats and dogs are known to kill individuals, although they apparently do not like to eat them. Predation is the main cause of mortality in some areas (exacerbated by changes in fire regimes that result in more frequent burning), particularly woodland and forest habitats (Maxwell et al. 1996). There have been recent substantial population declines in the Iron Range (Queensland), Cape York Peninsula, and the top end of the Northern Territory associated with the spread of cane toads and land-use changes. For instance, major declines to regional extinction have been reported for Northern Quolls following cane toad invasion on Cape York Peninsula (Burnett 1997). Northern Quolls appear to be particularly susceptible to the poison of cane toads, and are killed when they attempt to kill or consume the toads (Woinarski 2005). The species has also disappeared from coastal lowland areas in north Queensland following agricultural and urban development (Maxwell et al. 1996).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The Northern Quoll occurs in a number of protected areas. Recommended actions for this species (Maxwell et al. 1996) include: monitor abundance and disease status at selected sites across range; undertake additional research into causes of decline. In the Northern Territory, it has been recorded from 15 conservation reserves (Kakadu, Litchfield, Garig Gunak Barlu, Mary River, Manton Dam, Nitmiluk, Umbrawara Gorge, Fogg Dam, Charles Darwin, Black Jungle, Tjuwaliyn (Doglas Hot Springs), Berry Springs, Limmen, Leaning Tree Lagoon, and Howard Springs) (Woinarski 2005).

Citation: Oakwood, M., Woinarski, J. & Burnett, S. 2008. Dasyurus hallucatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 26 November 2014.
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