Head and body length, 40.5-51 cm; tail, 34-49 cm
Males 3-7 kg; females 1.6-4 kg
Estimated at 10,000-19,000
Sclerophyll forests, woodlands, rainforests, coastal heaths, coastal wet scrub, estuarine areas and rocky headlands
The shadow has sharp teeth. The spotted-tailed quoll—mainland Australia's largest marsupial carnivore—stays largely out of sight during the day, resting in hollow logs or underground dens. Darkness is its element, and it travels great distances in a single night to track down prey. Agile and strong, it makes short work of possums, rabbits and the like. Choice morsels from these nocturnal hunts go back to the den to feed the cubs during their first four to five months of life. But we may see even less of the next generation; already dangerously small and fragmented, populations are beset by habitat loss and invasive predatory species.