Q is for Quoll
This image of a sleeping quoll was taken by Lizardstomp, in Trowunna Wildlife Park, Australia, and is on Flikr.
There are several types of quoll, they are Australian marsupials, although only one type has a true pouch – the rest form a fold when breeding to tuck their babies into and their young hang from the nipples.
They are very endearing, and also rather cat-like in their appearance and habits.
All have coats in varying shades of brown with wonderful white spots, pink noses and long snouts.
Sadly they are suffering from declining numbers; they are at risk from the cane toad, a non-endemic animal that was introduced to Australia, which is poisonous.
They are also eaten by various predators including foxes and cats; suffer from increasing urbanisation; loss of habitat from other causes, and, because they are carnivores and also scavenge, eating poisoned meat left out for rats.
Added to a very short life span (the lowest estimate is two years), the future does not seem too rosy for this endearing little creature.
Here is a poem about it:
Mourn for the small
it doesn’t have much
life at all,
cute as a cat
with spots upon,
so much peril,
and they don’t live long.
Poem © Liz Brownlee
Photo © Lizardstomp
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