“Quolls are an umbrella species, if we protect quolls and their habitat, by default we look after everything else in the landscape.” — Dr Scott Burnett
The Quoll Seekers Network is thrilled to have received an Everyone’s Environment Grant from the Queensland Government to undertake surveys of the Spotted-tailed Quoll (Dasyurus maculatus) around D’Aguilar National Park. The 18 month project will involve revegetation, weed control and monitoring of quolls with infrared cameras on Land for Wildlife properties that are contiguous with D’Aguilar National Park.
The project was launched with a Quoll Discovery Day at Burpengary which provided community members with important information about quolls. Renowned wildlife ecologist, Dr Scott Burnett, delivered a fascinating presentation on quoll ecology, threats, monitoring techniques and management considerations. This was followed by an exciting live quoll demonstration by Martin Fingland from Geckoes Wildlife Presentations, where participants got to see the beauty and power of these carnivorous marsupials up close.
Quolls require large, continuous tracts of vegetation – males can have home ranges that can span several thousand hectares! Subsequently, quoll populations have dwindled as a result of land clearing and habitat loss. The species is also threatened by competition from foxes and cats, being hit by cars whilst scavenging for road kill, persecution at chicken pens (by people), poisoning from Cane Toads, poison baits and predation from dingoes and foxes.
The Quoll Seekers Network encourages Land for Wildlife members to:
- Retain bushland.
- Retain fallen timber and thick ground cover (these features provide habitat for quolls’ preferred food source – small to medium sized marsupials).
- Build quoll-proof chicken coops and encourage neighbours to do the same to avoid quolls killing domestic poultry.
- Advocate for quolls and raise awareness of the threats that are contributing to their decline.
- Avoid using baits, particularly strychnine baits and second generation rat baits.
- Keep an eye out for quolls and their traces including looking for scats, prints and latrine sites. Sand traps and infrared, motion detection cameras can also be used for monitoring.
- Report any quoll sightings back to local Land for Wildlife Officers and the Quoll Seekers Network.
The Spotted-tailed Quoll (south-eastern mainland population) is listed as Endangered under the Commonwealth Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and listed as Vulnerable under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992.
Previously, the Quoll Seekers Network has undertaken a number of other surveys on Land for Wildlife properties across South East Queensland. In March 2013, a quoll was captured on an infrared, motion sensor camera on a property in the Mt Alford area, with funding assistance from Scenic Rim Regional Council.
For more information on how you can get involved in the conservation of quolls, visit the Quoll Seekers Network webpage at www.wildlife.org.au/projects/quolls or call Wildlife Queensland on 3221 0194.
Article by Danielle Crawford Land for Wildlife Officer Sunshine Coast Council