Over the past few months, there have been two separate sightings of the endangered Spotted-tailed Quoll in the Scenic Rim. This is very exciting news as quolls are rarely seen in SEQ. Their populations have declined dramatically since colonisation and they are shy, elusive animals.
The first sighting was of a quoll crossing the road adjacent to the Kokoda Army Barracks at Canungra. The Department of Defence owns significant tracks of bushland in SEQ, providing large, relatively undisturbed habitats for wildlife. Quolls need large contiguous forests to survive. They are a top predator so need large areas to hunt. They also require numerous places to den and rest such as large hollow fallen trees, rocky outcrops and other animal burrows. They like to move across the landscape following densely vegetated creeks and protected gullies.
The second sighting was by a bush regenerator who was doing weed control work on a Land for Wildlife property at Tamborine Mountain. In response to this sighting, Scenic Rim Regional Council has installed baited infra-red camera traps on this property in the hope of capturing footage of this quoll. Baited camera traps use a chicken carcass enclosed within a sturdy cage to entice carnivores to the site. The nearby camera will be triggered in response to any movement near the trap.
Both of these sightings come less than a year after a confirmed quoll record in the Goomburra section of Main Range National Park in early 2022. This individual was caught on a camera trap during a survey by the Quoll Society of Australia.
Spotted-tailed Quolls are a native marsupial about the size of a domestic cat. They only live to 3-4 years of age so therefore need to find a mate and successfully reproduce quickly. Given that they will hunt domestic chickens, they have unfortunately been heavily persecuted in the past. They also hunt small wallabies, bandicoots, birds, rats, reptile and will climb trees to take possums and gliders.
If you own a property in the Scenic Rim that contains potential quoll habitat and you are interested in having your property surveyed for quolls, please contact the Scenic Rim Regional Council Land for Wildlife Officer, Catherine Madden (details pg 2) to discuss.
Image Top: A Spotted-tailed Quoll visiting a baited camera trap at Goomburra in January 2022. Photo courtesy of Quoll Society of Australia.