Photo © Scott Burnett/Bruce Thomson
The federal government has given more than $100,000 to help us continue increasing community knowledge about quolls throughout the State and to assist with further research.
The Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland (Wildlife Queensland – Queensland's oldest wildlife conservation organisation) received the grant in December from the federal government's 'Caring for our Country' Open Grants scheme to fund our project entitled 'Protecting Quolls in Queensland Landscapes.'
'This funding is a vote of confidence in the Quoll Seekers Network program and the reputation of Wildlife Queensland to deliver important conservation outcomes,' said Ewa Meyer, Wildlife Queensland's Projects Manager.
Wildlife Queensland's project attracted the generous funding because the federal government agreed that the project supported Australia's biodiversity and natural icons. We intend to show that by involving 10 other partners, a collaborative approach can help towards successful outcomes for such a major endangered species project.
The money will be used towards expanding the current work of our Quoll Seekers Network which aims to research Queensland's quolls and help rural populations live harmoniously alongside Australia's marsupial carnivores.
The new expanded activities will include raising community awareness through education in schools in the Border Ranges, and camera surveys of quoll populations in the Conondales, Imbil and the Gympie area.
Quoll Discovery Days will be held statewide in areas close to known quoll habitat including Cairns, Townsville, Gympie and the Numinbah Valley. At Quoll Discovery Days, the public will be invited to see a captive-bred quoll, find out more about these intriguing animals and have a chance to take home a cheque to help build a quoll-proof poultry pen.
'We want to help landowners to identify potential quoll populations and give them ideas on how to manage their properties with quoll conservation in mind,' said Mrs Meyer.
The quoll-proof poultry pen is designed to reduce one of the areas of conflict between people and quolls – quolls sometimes enter poultry sheds and kill hens.
We hope that the camera surveys around the Mary River headwaters will provide us with baseline data on quoll populations which we can use to ensure that these endangered species do not disappear before we can even confirm their distribution. Both spotted-tailed and northern quolls will be the subject of the field surveys.
The surveys will be carried out by Dr Scott Burnett, one of Australia's leading experts in the study of spotted-tailed and northern quolls, and his team from the University of the Sunshine Coast as well as volunteers from Wildlife Queensland.
'The generous funding from the Caring for our Country scheme shows how respected Wildlife Queensland is,' said Dr Burnett.
Since 2006, Wildlife Queensland's Quoll Seekers Network has confirmed that populations of spotted-tailed quolls still live in the north Beaudesert area. However we were unable to capture photographic evidence of quoll populations in the Border Ranges, previously thought to be a stronghold for the carnivorous marsupial, despite more than 6000 camera-hours being spent on the exhaustive scientific survey in 2007.
The Protecting Quolls in Queensland Landscapes project acknowledges the support of the following organisations: University of the Sunshine Coast; SEQ Catchments; Burdekin Dry Tropics NRM; Terrain (Wet Tropics NRM); Gympie Regional Council; Townsville City Council; Cairns Regional Council; Queensland Parks and Wildlife; and the Mary River Catchment Coordinating Committee.
More details about Quoll Seekers Network.
For more information on Wildlife Queensland's activities, call us on +61 7 3221 0194 or send us an email.