In fulfilment of statutory reporting requirements, Wildlife Queensland’s QuollSeekers Network recently submitted the findings of three camera monitoring surveys for spotted-tailed quolls. As well as documented evidence of a quoll population, the data provided some interesting insight into the kinds of species the quoll shares its home with.
In an effort to identify the distribution of the spotted-tailed quoll in south-east Queensland, the QuollSeekers Network conducted a series of camera monitoring projects within the Logan, Scenic Rim and D’Aguilar Range areas between mid-2011 and late 2014.
The collated data shows that a total of 708 animals were photographed by the infrared motion detection cameras attached to trees. Of the 67 different species represented, birds were the most frequently caught on camera, accounting for 22 percent of the total. Twenty-nine individual bird species were documented, some of the least common being sea eagles, wedge tailed eagles, glossy black cockatoos and satin bower birds.
Sadly, introduced predators – and direct resource competitors with the spotted-tailed quoll – were second in number to birds. Wild dogs, foxes and feral cats combined accounted for 18 percent of the overall number. As a single species, the fox was the most often photographed across the entire data set, representing 10 percent of all animals.
On 25 March 2014 in the Mt Alford region of the Scenic Rim, the surveys achieved their ultimate goal of capturing a spotted-tailed quoll on film. The male animal looked to be in good health and provided exactly what the QuollSeekers Network team had been looking for: evidence of a quoll population in the sampled area.
The three surveys also captured imagery of koalas, brush-tailed phascogales, brush-tailed rock wallabies, donkeys, cattle, feral pigs, red deer, and a bells form lace monitor (Varanus varius).
Funding for these projects was received from Logan City Council (EnviroGrant), the Scenic Rim Regional Council (Scenic Rim Environmental Grant) and the state government (Everyone’s Environment Grant).
The Quoll Seekers Network would like to thank everyone involved in the camera monitoring surveys, with special thanks to Ivell and Jim Whyte – without their enormous effort and dedication to the quolls of south-east Queensland these projects would not have been possible.