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Tiger Cat (Tiger Quoll)
Australia is home to between 600,000 and 700,000 species, many of which are found nowhere else in the world. About 84 per cent of plants, 83 per cent of mammals, and 45 per cent of birds are endemic – that is, they are only found in Australia.
The Tiger Quoll ranges from 35 to 75 cm in length and has a tail of about 34 to 50 cm. It is also 50% larger than other species of quolls. Females are smaller than the males.
It has thick, soft fawn, brown or black fur, with lighter fur on the underside. Small white spots cover the body including its bushy tail, which may also have a white tip. It has a pointed snout with a moist pink nose, bright eyes, and sharp teeth. Ridges on the pads of its feet allow them to climb trees.
It nests in rocky banks, hollow logs, or small caves.
It produces one litter a year with four to six young. The gestation period is 21 days.
The Tiger Quoll can get 4 to 5 years old.
Tiger Cat’s Habitat
Tiger Cat, is a carnivorous marsupial mammal, native to Australia. It is mainland Australia’s largest carnivorous marsupial.
Before European settlement the southern subspecies had a range extending from southern Queensland through coastal New South Wales and Victoria to Tasmania. It is now confined to a few areas, mostly in national parks, and listed as threatened in all mainland states.
The northern subspecies of the Tiger Quoll lives in restricted areas around Cairns and Cooktown in northern Queensland, and also in Papua New Guinea. It is slightly smaller than the southern subspecies. It is predicted that only 50% of quolls remain compared to last century.
Threats to Tiger Cat
Adult Tiger Quolls have a ‘territory’ of up to 500 hectares. There are few areas where such territories can exist without quolls encountering the effects of humans. This makes them particularly susceptible to a number of threats including:
Land clearing: loss and fragmentation of habitat are a primary threat to this largest of Australia’s marsupial carnivores, especially areas of suitable forest with sufficient numbers of den sites and prey
Scattered populations: populations of Tiger Quolls are now scattered and hence vulnerable to chance events such as bushfires and disease
Introduced competitors: competition for food with introduced foxes and cats, as well as possible predation on young quolls by these introduced species may also threaten them
1080 baits: these are used to control fox and wild dog numbers. Unfortunately, female and juvenile quolls are especially susceptible. It is vital that when 1080 baits are used, best practice management guidelines are employed in order to keep impacts to native species to a minimum
Fire: since Tiger Quolls favour dense habitats with a lot of ground litter on the forest floor, burning is also likely to threaten the species.
Changes to the landscape and native habitat as a result of human activity have put many of these unique species at risk. Over the last two hundred years many species of plants and animals have become extinct.
Land clearing, habitat destruction, and predation by the Red Fox and cats have led to the decline.
Why the Australian animals are unique in the world
About 96 million years ago (mya), the continent of Australia was separated from the super continent Gondwana, and began to drift north as the Indo-Australian Plate. For most of the time since then, Australia has remained a single, continuous landmass.
As the continent drifted north from Antarctica, unique flora and fauna developed. There were two (three) main reasons for the enormous diversity that developed in both plant and animal life.
1. About 10,000 years ago, it was the Ice Age, while much of the rest of the world underwent significant cooling and thus loss of species diversity, Australia was drifting north at such a pace that the overall global cooling effect was roughly equalled by its gradual movement toward the equator. Temperatures in Australia, in other words, remained reasonably constant for a very long time, and a vast number of different plant and animal species were able to evolve to fit particular ecological niches.
2. Because the continent was more isolated than any other, very few outside species arrived to colonise, and unique native forms developed unimpeded.
Well, it is reasonable to suggest that God created the various kinds of marsupials.
So its animals evolved in isolation from the rest of the world into a unique and wonderful fauna.
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