Our Latest News

New picnic facilities for Penny's Lagoon

08/08/2018

The Parks and Wildlife Service has completed the construction of a new picnic shelter at Penny's Lagoon within the Lavinia State Reserve on King Island.
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Celebrating World Ranger Day

31/07/2018

The work of Tasmania's rangers is vital in the daily management of our 19 national parks and more than 800 reserves, encompassing approximately 50 per cent of the State.
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Southwest ecological burns important for orange-bellied parrot conservation

22/03/2018

Planned ecological burns in Southwest National Park will help regenerate important habitat areas for the critically endangered orange-bellied parrot.More

Carnivorous marsupials

The family Dasyuridae includes the well-known Tasmanian devil, eastern quolls (native cats), spotted-tailed quolls (tiger cats) and antechinuses (marsupial mice). The closely-related Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine, also a carnivorous marsupial, is classified in its own family, Thylacinidae.

Over forty species have been described from Australia and New Guinea. Seven occur in Tasmania:


The carnivorous marsupials are among the most impressive of hunting mammals. However, their smaller size, nocturnal habits and cryptic behaviour often leaves them overshadowed in the popular imagination by the conspicuous carnivores of Africa and Asia, such as leopards, tigers and lions.

As with all marsupials, the carnivorous species possess a pouch, although in some species, the pouch is little more than a mere fold. Typically, the young are carried within the pouch until such time that they are literally being dragged along the ground while the mother hunts. At this stage, the young are generally left in a den (such as a hollow log) while the mother hunts.

Although most of the members of this family are small, about the size of a rat, Tasmania has the distinction of being home to the four largest carnivorous marsupials in the world.