Our Latest News

Second round of consultation begins on the future of Freycinet Peninsula

13/03/2019

Tasmania's unrivalled natural environment is a key driver in our nation-leading visitor economy and the Freycinet Peninsula is one of our most popular tourism destinations.More

Sustainable Timber Tasmania and Parks and Wildlife Service issue safety message

08/03/2019

Over the coming weeks, a number of roads inside of fire impacted areas will reopen.More

PWS Fire Update - Friday 22 February 2019

22/02/2019

To date, the fire area has affected around 94,000 ha (about 6%) of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA) and approximately 42,476 ha (about 3.4%) of other reserves managed by the Parks and Wildlife Service.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.