Save Smiths Beach

The Chuditch (Nyoongar language); Western Quoll -
Dasyurus geoffroii fortis

Chuditch. Copyright © Murdoch University 1997. URL: . "All material may be used without permission but correct reference to persons quoted and the University is requested.""The Chuditch, a small, brown, native animal which is distinguished by striking white spots on its upper body, is the largest carnivorous marsupial in Western Australia. It has also been called the Western Quoll or Western Native Cat."(2)

"The name chuditch, given by the Aboriginal people of southwestern Australia to this animal, nicely echoes its explosive call when it is in an aggressive mood or standing its ground in face of a threat." (1)

"In the early nineteenth century, it was found from Shark Bay to Esperance, WA, and across the continent into western New South Wales and Queensland. It is now restricted to the southwestern corner of Western Australia and to Papua New Guinea."(1)

"Western Australia's meagre Chuditch (Dasyurus geoffroii) population ... is estimated that only about 8000 remain in the wild [1997], back from a couple of thousand less than a decade ago." (2)

Read about the Smiths Beach chuditch"Chuditch den in hollow logs and burrows and have also been recorded in tree hollows and cavities. Suitable hollow or burrow entrance diameters are often at least 30 centimetres in diameter. An adult female chuditch may utilise an estimated 66 logs and 110 burrows within her home range...

Habitat alteration and removal of suitable den logs and den sites following land clearing, grazing and frequent wildfire have contributed to a decline in chuditch numbers...

Conservation status:
2000 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species Vulnerable
Western Australian Wildlife Conservation Act Threatened Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act Threatened (Vulnerable)" (3)

Smiths Beach Chuditch photos"Unfortunately it has also been called 'endangered'*, and has been struggling for survival in the face of impending extinction for a number of decades. Chuditch, which once occupied a wide range of climatic/vegetative zones throughout Western Australia, declined dramatically in numbers after European settlement, falling victim to such threats as land clearing; overgrazing; forest fires; fox predation; competition for food from foxes and feral cats; road traffic; poisoning, shooting and trapping; and endemic disease.

<click> for larger imageToday the tiny Chuditch about half the size of the average house cat can only be encountered in the State's Jarrah forest, although there have been occasional sightings in the Wheatbelt and South Coast areas. However, largely due to the threats mentioned above, the only place most West Australians are able to see a chuditch is at the Perth Zoo." (2)

"Occasionally chuditch will climb trees to catch prey or to escape from predators." (3)


1. Arnold, J.M. (1983). Western Quoll. In R. Strahan (Ed.) The Complete Book of Australian Mammals. Australian Museum and Angus & Robertson Publishers. North Ryde, NSW.

2. Office of Community Relations, Murdoch University (1997), Fighting back from the edge of extinction, Synergy, Volume 1 No 2.

3. Department of Conservation and Land Management, Government of Western Australia, Fauna Species Profiles,

* "The Chuditch has been listed as endangered by the Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council (ANZECC) (ANPWS 1991) and has also been listed in Schedule 1, Part 1 (endangered) of the Commonwealth Endangered Species Protection Act 1992. In Western Australia, it was gazetted as a Threatened Species (WA Wildlife Conservation Act 1950) in 1983, in recognition of its dramatically reduced range. Chuditch have a short average life span and, within their present range, are patchily distributed at low densities, even in high quality habitat. Chuditch populations are consequently vulnerable to extinction due to chance events or normal environmental fluctuations as well as natural catastrophes and habitat destruction (Shaffer 1981; Soulé 1985)."