Habitat use by tiger quoll (Dasyurus maculatus) (Marsupialia: Dasyuridae) in south-eastern Australia


C. A. Belcher. Current address: RMB 4269, Timboon, Vic. 3268, Australia.
Email: ecosystems@datafast.net.au


Habitat use by tiger quolls was investigated at three sites in south-eastern Australia through trapping and radio-tracking. Habitat complexity was measured in each of the habitat types present. Prey densities were determined from spotlighting transects in each habitat type. Habitat utilization differed between sites, but gullies and drainage lines were used significantly more than availability at each site. Escarpment was used more than availability at Suggan Buggan and ridges were used in proportion to availability at Tallaganda. Mid-slopes were used significantly less than availability at all sites. Habitat use was significantly related with prey densities at most sites. Rock dens appeared to be preferred over log dens, resulting in the use of ridges when complex rocky outcrops, suitable for den sites, were present. Habitat complexity was high in gullies/lower slopes/riparian flats, moderate on mid-slopes and low to moderate on upper slopes/ridges. High prey densities and the presence of preferred den substrates were the two factors that influenced habitat use by quolls in this study.