Chuditch (Dasyurus geoffroii)

Chuditch walking
Loading more images and videos...

Chuditch fact file

Chuditch description

GenusDasyurus (1)

A small cat-sized marsupial, the mammals (Dasyurus geoffroii) has soft, brown fur with white spotting along its lean body and down its short legs. The tail, which is up to half the total body length, is covered in long, black hairs. The pointed face is paler than the body, and has large eyes and rounded ears, trimmed with white fur (2) (3).

Also known as
nyoongar, western quoll.
Chat Marsupial De Geoffroy.
Head-body length – male: 31 – 40 cm (2)
Head-body length – female: 26 – 36 cm (2)
Tail length – male: 25 – 35 cm (2)
Tail length – female: 21 – 31 cm (2)
Weight – male: 0.7 – 2.0 kg (2)
Weight – female: 0.6 – 1.1 kg (2)

Chuditch biology

The mammals is a solitary and nocturnal marsupial with a territorial attitude towards its home range, particularly the central core area of the range which is marked by many dens. Males and females do not meet outside of the May to July breeding season, although males territories, at about 15 square kilometres, overlap with several female ranges, at about three to four square kilometres each, and may also overlap with the peripheries of other male territories. Female home ranges do not overlap. A typical female territory might contain around 70 hollow log dens and 110 burrows. The chuditch sleeps in hollow logs, stone piles, and burrows dug both by themselves and left by other animals (3).

Pregnant females will give birth to between two and six young per year after a gestation period of 17 to 18 days. The young marsupials move directly into the shallow pouch of their mother where they remain for a further eight to nine weeks (5). Following this period, they remain with their mother but are often left in the large burrow she constructed before giving birth, while she forages for herself and for her offspring. The young are independent at 18 weeks, leaving their mother’s home range to find their own. At one year they are sexually mature and most will breed (3).

The mammals is essentially opportunistic, although fruit is not a common part of the diet. Small to medium sized mammals, lizards, frogs and large invertebrates are common prey in arid habitats, and insects, freshwater crustaceans, reptiles, birds and mammals are common prey in forest habitats. Carrion is also consumed, as are small fruits and flower-parts and the red pulp surrounding Zamia seeds (2) (4). The chuditch obtains all the liquid it requires from its diet, so rarely drinks and is able to remain active in temperatures as low as zero degrees Celsius (4).


Chuditch range

The chuditch was previously found in 70 percent of Australia, existing in every mainland state and the Northern Territory. It is now found only in the southwest corner of Western Australia (1) (3).


Chuditch habitat

Having previously been present in much of Australia, the chuditch is known to be capable of living in many habitats including deserts, woodlands, eucalypt shrubland, open forests and coastal areas (1) (3).


Chuditch status

The chuditch is classified as Near Threatened (NT) on the IUCN Red List (1). It is classified as “fauna that is rare or is likely to become extinct” under the Western Australian Wildlife Conservation Act and as Threatened (Vulnerable) under the Australian Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (2).

IUCN Red List species status – Near Threatened


Chuditch threats

The range of the mammals has been reduced to just two percent of the size of its original range, due to habitat loss and degradation, as well as from increased predation and competition for food from introduced species such as foxes, feral cats, dingoes and birds of prey (3). The majority of habitat lost has been a result of clearing for farming, forestry and increasingly frequent controlled and wild fires (1). When it was more common, the chuditch was known to raid chicken coops and rubbish bins in settled areas, and consequently was seen as a pest and trapped or poisoned (1) (5).


Chuditch conservation

A recovery plan for the mammals was prepared in 1994 and various conservation actions have been undertaken to attempt to increase chuditch numbers. Captive breeding programmes have been successful, and research into the chuditch and its habitat is ongoing (3). Introduced predator control, particularly of red foxes, has reduced predator numbers, and the maintenance of refuge sites in the Jarrah Forest where populations still exist should improve population counts. Populations are being monitored, and translocations to five sites in the southwest of Western Australia have improved chuditch numbers in this area. A re-assessment of the conservation status of the chuditch is currently underway.

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.

Find out more

For further information about different quoll species, including the chuditch: 



Information authenticated by Keith Morris, Manager, Biodiversity Conservation Group in the Science Division of the Government of Western Australia’s Department of Conservation and Land Management.



The flesh of a dead animal.
Diverse group of arthropods (a phylum of animals with jointed limbs and a hard chitinous exoskeleton) characterised by the possession of two pairs of antennae, one pair of mandibles (parts of the mouthparts used for handling and processing food) and two pairs of maxillae (appendages used in eating, which are located behind the mandibles). Includes crabs, lobsters, shrimps, slaters, woodlice and barnacles.
The state of being pregnant; the period from conception to birth.
Home range
The area occupied by an animal during routine activities, which is not actively defended.
Animals with no backbone.
A diverse group of mammals characterised by their reproduction. The embryo is born 11-35 days after conception. The tiny neonate crawls into the marsupium (pouch) and attaches to a teat where it stays for a variable amount of time. They also differ from placental mammals in their dentition.
Active at night.
An animal, a pair of animals or a colony that occupies and defends an area.
Area occupied and defended by an animal, a pair of animals or a colony.
The movement of a species, by people, from one area to another.

Image credit

Chuditch walking  
Chuditch walking

© Martin B Withers /

FLPA - images of nature
Pages Green House
Suffolk IP14 5QA
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 1728 861 113
Fax: +44 (0) 1728 860 222


Link to this photo

Arkive species - Chuditch (Dasyurus geoffroii) Embed this Arkive thumbnail link ("portlet") by copying and pasting the code below.

Terms of Use - The displayed portlet may be used as a link from your website to Arkive's online content for private, scientific, conservation or educational purposes only. It may NOT be used within Apps.

Read more about



MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite Arkive images and videos and share them with friends.

Play the Team WILD game:

Team WILD, an elite squadron of science superheroes, needs your help! Your mission: protect and conserve the planet’s species and habitats from destruction.

Conservation in Action

Which species are on the road to recovery? Find out now »

Help us share the wonders of the natural world. Donate today!


Back To Top