Since buying our property, one of our key wildlife objectives was to get a permanent population of pademelons back onto our place. We assumed they were here before European settlement and introduced pest predators, but we only ever saw glimpses of them.
We started baiting and trapping pest animals, mainly foxes, over 15 years ago. Only recently have the laws been changed to give us the flexibility to put out fox baits when we need to (i.e. when foxes are observed) rather than at prescribed times.
I am also part of the Gold Coast Hinterland Pest Management Group that carries out coordinated wild dog baiting on council reserves and other properties, which complements my fox baiting.
In May 2020, for the first time in at least 40 years, the pademelons have come back and appear to have taken up residence! I am hoping it is permanent and I will keep a close eye on things.
I am convinced that fox baiting, and the corresponding decline in fox numbers, has been the main factor in the return of the pademelons. I also firmly believe that foxes prefer disturbed habitats rather than intact or restored native habitats, especially rainforest. Our success in restoring rainforest ecosystems on our property, I believe, has also contributed to the decline of foxes and has allowed for the re-establishment of pademelons.
So hopefully we have achieved one of our long-term objectives. Our next is to see the return of quolls!
Article by Wal Mayr
Land for Wildlife member
Austinville, Gold Coast