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Chudditch (Western Quoll) (Dasyurus geoffroyi)

Chudditch, Western Quoll

The Western Quoll

The chudditch is commonly known by two other names, the western quoll and the western native cat. This species has become endangered due to loss of habitat and increased predator activity. Fires account for much of the habitat loss. The chudditch can be found in the Jarrah Forest located in south Western Australia, the population of the species in that location is estimated at 3,000 animals. This species is regarded as the largest marsupial predator located in Western Australia.

A chudditch prefers dryer climates such as the open savannah and dry woodlands. This animal will live in a burrow (that can be dug by another animal or itself) or in a tree hollow. When the temperature is below freezing, the chudditch can continue on with its everyday life with ease. Although a chudditch prefers to remain on the ground, it can climb trees with ease if necessary. In the wild this species is mostly spotted alone, in captivity the chudditch will live in a group.

The tail accounts for nearly half of the total body measurement of the chudditch. The head and body average about 330mm, with the tail averaging 280mm in length. This species can weigh as much as 2 kg, females weigh less than males. Olive grey fur with white spots covers the body of the chudditch. The tail has thin (lacking density) fur that is a grey tan color that fades into a black on the bottom half. There is creamy white fur on the underbelly of the chudditch.

This species is well adjusted to live with humans and will eat trash from trash bins if necessary. Also, the chudditch will attack a chicken farm or even a chicken coop that only has 10 chickens inside. In an undisturbed habitat, the chudditch prefers to eat insects, birds, mice, lizards, frogs, etc.

A chudditch is ready to breed at about one year old. Breeding occurs during the winter months (May-July). Although there is a short gestation period (about 16 days), females only give birth to one litter each year. A single litter can include 7 or 8 young, but usually only 6. Around 90 days after birth, young leave the pouch but remain within the group. The average lifespan of a wild chudditch is unknown, however one lived in captivity for 6 years. 



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A Field Guide to the Mammals of Australia, Menkhorst, P. and Knight, F. 2001.

Animal Info-Western Native Cat, Massicot, P., 8/9/04, http://www.animalinfo.org/species/dasygeof.htm.

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