Australian Journal of Zoology Australian Journal of Zoology Society
Evolutionary, molecular and comparative zoology

Population attributes of the spotted-tailed quoll (Dasyurus maculatus) in north-eastern New South Wales

A. S. Glen
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School of Biological Sciences A08, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia. Present address: Department of Environment & Conservation and Invasive Animals CRC, Dwellingup Research Centre, Banksiadale Road, Dwellingup, WA 6213, Australia. Email:

Australian Journal of Zoology 56(2) 137-142
Submitted: 10 March 2008  Accepted: 27 August 2008   Published: 13 October 2008


The spotted-tailed quoll (Dasyurus maculatus) is an endangered marsupial carnivore endemic to eastern Australia. A paucity of information on the dynamics of wild populations has hindered conservation of the species. The population dynamics of spotted-tailed quolls were investigated in an area of unusually high abundance in north-eastern New South Wales, where density is conservatively estimated at 0.3 km-2. Sixty individual quolls were captured on 331 occasions over 22 months. Apparent survival, timing and rate of reproduction, and morphometric data were compared with those of quolls from other areas. Population models were employed to investigate patterns in the behaviour and apparent survival of quolls in the study area. The high abundance of D. maculatus identifies the study area as vital to the conservation of quolls on mainland Australia, and to the future study of the species.


Research funding was provided by the Pest Animal Control CRC, NSW Department of Environment & Conservation (DEC), Australian Geographic Society, Australian Academy of Science, Wildlife Preservation Society of Australia, Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife and Royal Zoological Society of New South wales. All procedures were approved by the University of Sydney Animal Care and Ethics Committee (Approval No. L04/7-2002/2/3589). Research was licenced by DEC (Lic. No. S10566) and Forests NSW (Permit No. 14990). Sincere thanks to P. Meek, B. Tolhurst, J. Haydock, J. Bertram, A. Lloyd and D. Everson for assistance and accommodation in the field, and to R. Harden, G. Körtner and O. Albanil, who shared equipment, ideas and advice. I am grateful also to J. Cruz, J. Webb and B. Brook for invaluable assistance with modelling, and to C. Dickman for help and advice throughout. Sincere thanks to J. Webb, P. Fleming and two anonymous referees for comments that helped greatly to improve the manuscript. A. Glen is supported by an Invasive Animals CRC postdoctoral fellowship.


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