A recent encounter with a northern quoll in the Kimberleys – a reminder of our own forgotten fauna…


I spied this northern quoll at Bell Gorge on a recent trip along the Gibb River Road in the Kimberleys, WA. Amazingly it was highly active in broad daylight.

Bell Gorge is a popular swimming spot for tourists and it seems this quoll has switched from nocturnal to diurnal foraging to take advantage of the snacks that people bring with them to the gorge and conveniently leave unattended while they swim in the plunge pool. It’s notable that Bell Gorge is still free of cane toads. Not for long however as the cane toad front is expected to reach this area of the western Kimberleys in the next year or two.

Quolls and a lot of other species have declined precipitously in the wake of cane toad invasion throughout northern Australia, so the future of this little guy is very uncertain. We felt very privileged to get such a good look!

This is also a reminder of the native fauna we are sadly missing in south-eastern mainland Australia, where the closely related Eastern Quoll (or native cat as it was commonly called), used to be one of the most frequently encountered species until the arrival of the fox.

Ben Taylor