When a spotted-tailed quoll wanders into your house

By AG STAFF 24 August 2020
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What do you do?

It wasn’t the first time Rebecca Brown had seen a spotted-tailed quoll in broad daylight; she lives surrounded by bush in a verdant valley on the NSW mid north coast. She’s watched one climb up the papaya tree in her yard, and another run straight towards her as she stood in the garden. But this encounter was next level. “I was sitting on my front verandah and it wandered up to me, sniffed my toes then walked straight inside the house,” she says.

“It’s so incredibly special to see these nocturnal animals at any time, but during the day is just so special. It stayed in the house for maybe 10 minutes, completely oblivious to me, then sauntered out.”

This solitary animal hunts and feeds at night on a variety of prey including birds, medium-sized mammals and reptiles, which it attacks by biting the back of the skull or neck.

The spotted-tailed quoll population is seriously threatened throughout mainland Australia and is listed as endangered by the IUCN. The introduction of feral animals such as foxes, cats and dogs, as well as diseases and the destruction of their forest habitats, have greatly reduced their numbers.