Community Surveys for Quolls in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland
Using camera trapping to assess the presence of spotted-tailed and northern quolls
Volunteer for quoll surveys
© Judith Deland/Flikr
About this project
In August 2022, Wildlife Queensland’s Quoll Seekers Network (QSN) was awarded $19,989 under the Queensland Government’s Community Sustainability Action Grants program to conduct camera trap surveys to assess whether the endangered spotted-tailed quoll (Dasyurus maculatus) and northern quoll (D. hallucatus) persist within protected areas of the Sunshine Coast.
Once common in South East Queensland, the spotted-tailed quoll is now largely restricted to Queensland’s Southern Downs and the northern quoll to areas north of Proserpine in central Queensland.
Historically, both these marsupial carnivores occurred in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. Anecdotal reports suggest a low-density population may exist in the region’s larger national parks and state forests.
This project aims to ascertain the presence of spotted-tailed and northern quolls by engaging community volunteers to assist with infra-red wildlife camera surveys within protected areas of the Sunshine Coast. Survey sites have been chosen based on habitat suitability, historical quoll records and anecdotal sightings since 2010. These include:
- Bellthorpe National Park
- Conondale National Park
- Elgin Vale State Forest
- Imbil State Forest
- Squirrel Creek State Forest
- Woondum National Park
- Wrattens National Park
- Yabba State Forest.
The project also aims to raise the public profile of quolls in the area, increase community knowledge of quolls, and teach people methods to survey for quoll presence on their own properties.
Project activities involve:
- undertaking a minimum of 8,000 camera trap nights across the two-year lifespan of the project within at least six protected areas
- hosting two Quoll Discovery Days to raise the public profile of quolls in the area, teach people methods by which they can survey for quoll presence on their own properties, and invite their participation in project activities
- using the Atlas of Living Australia’s DigiVol platform to involve community volunteers in the online analysis of the camera trap images collected.
A spotted-tailed quoll feeding on a dead possum.
Wildlife Queensland projects manager Matt Cecil holding the Quoll Seekers Network Spotted-tailed Quoll Landholders Guide.
Success will be determined based on reaching numerical goals for:
- sites where monitoring is conducted
- camera trap nights
- volunteers and volunteer hours contributed to the project
- community volunteers undertaking data analysis on DigiVol
- people attending Quoll Discovery Days.
Infrequent sightings and the shy nature of quolls make it difficult for researchers and conservationists to estimate how many individuals remain. This project aims to discover any remaining quoll populations in South East Queensland and gain information that can be used toward implementing conservation measures to stabilise and enhance these populations.
Partners & sponsors
This project is supported by the Queensland Government’s Community Sustainability Action grants program.
- Quoll Society of Australia Inc.
- Noosa and District Landcare
- Burnett Mary Regional Group
- Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service