The eastern quoll is widespread in Tasmania and was previously widespread in mainland southeastern Australia, including New South Wales, Victoria and eastern South Australia. The species rapidly declined in abundance throughout most of its mainland range around 1890−1910. Some isolated populations persisted in low densities in some areas, with sightings at Kew, Ivanhoe, Melbourne, Lake Corangamite, Otway Ranges (all Victoria) and Vaucluse (NSW) until the early 1960s. The species is considered extinct on the mainland, with the last confirmed mainland sighting at Vaucluse in 1963. The species is now restricted to Tasmania, including Bruny Island where it is mainly found on the north island. However, the Bruny Island population may have been introduced, as eastern quolls have only been recorded on the island since around the early 1990s. Records from the Tasmanian Natural Values Atlas indicate that the eastern quoll occurs in most parts of Tasmania, but is recorded infrequently in the wetter western third of the state. The species’ distribution is associated with areas of low rainfall and cold winter minimum temperatures. Within this distribution, it is found in a range of vegetation types including open grassland (including farmland), tussock grassland, grassy woodland, dry eucalypt forest, coastal scrub and alpine heathland, but is typically absent from large tracts of wet eucalypt forest and rainforest. Abundance and occurrence within this broader distribution are often patchy over short distances.
Eastern Quoll |
Status: Endangered on the EPBC Act list
Government evidence of impact of climate change:
Australian Government, Conservation Advice, Dasyurus viverrinus
Climate Severe Entire A rapid decline of quoll populations in change 2002 2003 has been linked to a sustained period of unfavourable weather (Fancourt 2015 Fancourt et al.; 2015a).
A predicted increase in the frequency; severity and duration of extreme weather events (White et al.; 2010 IPCC; 2013) will increase the frequency at which quoll populations will be reduced (Fancourt; 2015).
Fancourt (2015) suggests that this period of unsuitable weather reduced quoll populations to a very low level; and that populations are now too small to withstand threats (e.g. predation from feral cats) to which they were less susceptible at higher densities (Fancourt et al.; 2015b).
Given the magnitude of the weather driven decline in Tasmania between 2001 and 2003 and the predicted increase in frequency of such events over coming decades; eastern quoll populations are projected to decline a further 50 over the next 10 years (B.
If quoll populations are unable to recover unassisted under current threat intensities; subsequent extreme weather events may compound the problem and drive current small populations to extinction (Fancourt; 2015).