Species Profiles

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(Dasyurus hallucatus) Also called the northern Australian native cat, northern native cat, satanellus, and njanmak (Mayali) Introduction Northern quollPhoto © Eric Vanderduys The northern quoll is the smallest of four species of marsupial carnivore in the genus Dasyurus. The species was first described in 1842 and given the species name hallucatus, which means ‘notable first …

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(Dasyurus maculatus) Also called … Tiger quoll, tiger cat, yarri (Herbert River District), burrumbil (Mulgrave River and Atherton Tablelands, north Queensland) Introduction Spotted-tailed quoll (Dasyurus maculatus)Photo: Scott Burnett The spotted-tailed quoll is mainland Australia’s largest marsupial carnivore. It was one of the first Australian animals to be encountered by Europeans; Arthur Phillip’s party collected one …

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The short-beaked echidna is 
Australia’s most widespread animal
Photo © WPSQ
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(Tachyglossus aculeatus) Also known as spiny anteater, nyingarn (Beeloo, WA), tjilkamata (Pitjantjatjara, Central Australia), minha kekoywa (Pakanh, Cape York Peninsula) The short-beaked echidna isAustralia’s most widespread animalPhoto © WPSQ Tachyglossus means ‘quick tongue’, referring to the speed with which the echidna uses its tongue to catch ants and termites. Aculeatus means ‘spiny’. The species was …

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Platypus swimming, showing the broad tail 
Photo © Steve Parish Publishing


(Ornithorhynchus anatinus) Also known as the duck-billed platypus, boondaburra, mallangong or tambreet (Indigenous terms around Yas, Murrumbidgee and Tumat), or tohunbuck (Goomburra language, Darling Downs). Platypus swimming, showing the broad tailPhoto © Steve Parish Publishing The platypus belongs to the order Monotremata, meaning ‘one hole’ because it has a single opening for its excretory and …

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Northern hairy-nosed wombat. 
Photo © EPA / Darren Jew

(Lasiorhinus krefftii) Also called Yaminon (Indigenous name from the region of St George, south-western Queensland) Introduction Northern hairy-nosed wombat.Photo © EPA / Darren Jew This is one of Australia’s rarest marsupials: the species is found in only one location in the wild; only 115 wombats were recorded in 2005; and none live in captivity. Although …

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(Phascolarctos cinereus) Introduction The koala is the largest arboreal folivore found in Australia, KoalaPhoto © WIldlife Queensland with a lifestyle adapted to life in the trees.  It is the only extant member of the family Phascolarctidae but debate continues amongst researchers as to whether there are two or three sub-species, or whether there are any …

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(Petaurus australis) The yellow-bellied glider, also known as the fluffy glider in Far North Queensland, is a member of the Petauridae family.  It is the largest of the four Petaurus gliders that occur in Australia. It lives in family groups, is the most vocal, is an extremely accomplished glider and can readily be found at …

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(Petaurus breviceps) The sugar glider is possibly the most commonly known of all the glider species in Australia.  The sugar glider has 5 known Sugar GliderPhoto © Steve Parish Publishing subspecies. 2 subspecies are found in Papua New Guinea, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. The South Australian subspecies is P.b. breviceps, Queensland’s subspecies is …

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Squirrel Glider
Photo © Steve Parish Publishing


(Petaurus norfolcensis) Squirrel gliders are so named because of their dense, bushy Squirrel GliderPhoto © Steve Parish Publishing tail. They are not quite as well known as their smaller relative, the sugar glider. Squirrel gliders and sugar gliders can co-occur in some areas and where they do, squirrel gliders are usually the more abundant of …

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(Petaurus gracilis) The mahogany glider is named for its rich brown mahogany Mahogany GliderPhoto © Daryl Dickson colour and the importance of the swamp mahogany tree, Lophostemon suaveolens, in its habitat. The scientific name Petaurus gracilismeans slender rope dancer. They have been known to glide up to 60 metres with an average glide distance of …

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