Article | Updated 9 months ago
DPAW’s Threatened Fauna: An Overview – Chuditch / Western Quoll
Western Australia’s Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPAW) keeps an extensive list of threatened fauna in line with the Wildlife Conservation Act. On this list, 44 mammals are listed as “fauna that is rare or likely to become extinct.” This includes the Chuditch (Noongar name), otherwise known as the Western Quoll, or Western Native Cat.
What is the Chuditch?
This little mammal has the title of being the largest carnivorous marsupial in Western Australia, weighing in at up to 1.3 kg. The Chuditch brown, white-spotted hair, a pointed muzzle and large, rounded ears.
The Chuditch is usually nocturnal and solitary. It used to be widespread across Australia, but is now only found in small areas across south-west Western Australia, the Wheatbelt, Midwest, and South Coast regions.
The preferred homes of the Chuditch within their home range include hollow logs and burrows, and even tree cavities and bird nests. The Chuditch forages on the ground, looking for mammals, birds, small lizards, and bird or reptiles eggs. Their main source of sustenance, though, is large invertebrates such as crickets, spiders and scorpions.
Chudtich that dwell in Jarrah Forests breed seasonally from late April to early July. A female gives birth to 2 – 6 young after a gestation period of 17 – 18 days. After growing in the pouch for approximately 61 days, the young are moved to a den in late August to early October. After 4 – 5 months, the young are fully weaned and ready to leave the den and survive on their own in December, and will likely breed in their first year.
What is being done to protect the Chuditch?
The Chuditch faces threats from habitat alteration, land clearing, wildfires, and food competition from feral animals such as foxes and cats.
A management plan is in place to try to help the Chudith population remain stable. This plan excludes feral predator control, habitat management, population monitoring, and translocation programs.