Protecting quolls from extinction

The Community Sustainability Action grants are providing $18 million over six years to eligible community groups and individuals for innovative projects which seek to address climate change, conserve Queensland’s natural and built environment and protect our unique wildlife.

Organisations including QuollSA and the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland received grant funding under the grants program for Quoll conservation are leading the way in understanding of the spotted-tailed quoll.

Spotted-tailed quolls have disappeared from up to 50% of their former range and have an estimated total population of less than 10,000. Quolls are at particular risk of extinction because of habitat loss and human persecution. If we don’t take action, quolls could easily disappear forever like their big cousin, the Tasmanian tiger.

These alarming figures drove Paul Revie to create the Quoll Society of Australia (QuollSA) in 2017, an organisation dedicated to the research and conservation of these beautiful creatures.

Pictured: QuollSA founder Paul Revie

 

Quolls are keystone predators with a home range of 621-2561 hectares for males, meaning by protecting them, we are also protecting all those animals that share their habitat

In the past two years QuollSA has been received several grants from the Queensland Government to support their research.

Healthy Land and Water has provided assistance with meeting planning and is excited to see the results of QuollSA’s exciting research.

The first project involves using camera traps to identify existing quoll populations throughout their historical range in southern Queensland. QuollSA has recently confirmed quoll populations still exist in Girraween and Sundown National Parks in the Granite Belt region.

Building on this work, they have received additional funding from the Queensland Government’s Community Sustainability Action grants program to study home ranges, movement patterns, and habitat use of spotted-tailed quolls in and around Girraween National Park using GPS collars.

This exciting work commences early next year and will allow them to identify habitat types on private and public lands that should be protected or restored to ensure that spotted-tailed quolls survive and thrive in Queensland.

As part of the project QuollSA will also be studying the factors that allow quolls to persist at Girraween when they have disappeared from other intact forests in southern Queensland. This will involve spotlighting surveys to analyse prey populations and density, scat analysis to identify favoured prey, and pest animal diversity and density examination.

QuollSA will also be providing local landholders with free property management plans that will identify strategies to make their properties more quoll friendly.

Given that male quolls can have home ranges up to 5,000 hectares in size, conservation on private lands is a critical component of quoll conservation in the future, and QuollSA’s ambition is to increase the area of suitable habitat for quolls around the Girraween area, as well as providing connectivity between existing habitat patches.

Volunteers will form an important part of their research team for the project, and anyone who would like to meet an amazing spotted-tailed quoll up close and personal can register their interest to participate in their work at the QuollSA website.

Formed in 2017, QuollSA’s mission is to protect and conserve our amazing Australian quolls. Working together with a range of partners, including national parks staff, local councils, private landholders and an awesome team of quoll volunteers, they are conducting research and conservation activities to learn more about quolls, which will help them to manage their threats and restore important habitat.

 

This work is delivered by QuollSA who are assisted with valuable support from community group Watergum.

 

Healthy Land and Water is supportive of active citizen science projects like this one and is proud to see the community coming together to protect and preserve their local environments.

Healthy Land and Water’s attendance at the recent meeting was supported through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

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