Although it climbs well, and is also capable of large vertical leaps (2), the kowari is primarily terrestrial. Most active at night, it runs with a bounding gait, and shelters by day in a burrow in which it constructs a sleeping nest of leaves and other soft materials. The kowari may dig its own burrow, or take over and modify that of another species. Each burrow may have several entrances, and an individual may use a number of different burrows, sometimes sharing with other kowaris. The kowari takes a variety of prey, including insects, spiders, small vertebrates and carrion, and may enter short periods of torpor when food is scarce (2) (4).
Kowaris occupy overlapping ranges, which are scent-marked with urine, faeces, and secretions from a gland on the chest (4). Mating takes places between April and December, the female giving birth to between 2 and 7 young after a gestation period of 30 to 36 days. The rather underdeveloped young, which measure a mere 4 millimetres long at birth, attach firmly to a teat within the female’s partially enclosed pouch, until about 56 days old. After this, the young are left in the nest or ride on the female’s back, until weaned at about 95 to 100 days. The female may then go on to produce a second litter. The kowari reaches maturity at around 10 to 11 months, and can live for up to 7 years in captivity (2) (4) (7).