This is a chuditch or western quoll. His name’s Charlie and this photograph was taken on 7 July 2012 (four years and nearly two months ago). It’s one of the best photographs I’ve taken of him.
In captivity, a chuditch can live up to about five years. Charlie’s now way up there in quoll years and he’s definitely looking his age. He’s much more skinny and patchy-furred now, and sadly not as sociable.
Anyway, I’ve figured out how to rework the light in my old photos to more natural colours. Hope you enjoy seeing Charlie in part-colour. 🙂
This is a chuditch from the best citizen science initiative ever: the Western Shield camera watch. (Yes I’m a month late finding out about this. Shoosh.)
Western Shield is a concerted effort to prevent endemic animals of the southwest from going extinct. If you’re a long-term follower, you know a lot of their target animals from my photos: woylies, numbats, dibblers, tammar wallabies and of course lovely spotty chuditches,
Ninety trusty Reconyx camera traps have been deployed in the southwest to assess the success of the program and to survey different sites with or without invasive predator controls in place. This has left them with about 200,000 capture sets of wildlife to sort through.
And this is where you come in.
You can help out by heading over to Zooniverse, getting registered and telling the nice website what you see in the pictures. (Fair warning 1: it’s mostly grey kangaroos and black-gloved wallabies, though the traps have captured plenty of cute joeys and an epic fight or two.) You can give it a shot for yourself here.
Fair warning 2: It’s superlatively addictive. But it’s for a good cause!
This is a chuditch or western quoll who possibly thinks he’s about to get fed.
Here you can clearly see the bottom-heaviness of quoll physiology which lends itself to a loping “see-saw” run (like a chain of controlled jumps) with a lot of vertical movement on the hips.
You have to be aware of these things if you’re going to animate something, you know…
This is a chuditch or western quoll. He is having a kip.
This is a northern quoll, very possibly a juvenile northern quoll.
Northern quolls are the largest known mammals to undergo semelparity, in this case male die-off. Much like the more infamous antechinus, northern quoll males go into a mating frenzy and die from exhaustion. This particular instinct can be suppressed with measure such as isolating the male from the relevant female pheromones, or giving him the snip. Or, as one antechinus researcher discovered, accidentally having their knackers ripped off while escaping from a trap.