The ACT Government is setting up a new plan to help protect the vulnerable spotted-tailed quoll and to learn more about the elusive marsupial and its habits.
The spotted-tailed quoll, also known as the tiger quoll, has almost disappeared from the ACT and has been listed as vulnerable in the ACT on the Threatened Native Species List since 2003 with only occasional sightings since the 1950s.
The action plan is looking to maintain long-term, suitable habitat conditions that will support wild populations of spotted-tailed quolls in the ACT and manage any threats to them.
ACT Conservator Ian Walker is calling on the community for input on the new plan.
“The end goal is to maintain long-term, suitable habitat conditions that will support wild populations of the quolls within our region by preserving their habitat, managing any threats to them and knowing more about them,” he said.
“Currently, spotted-tailed quolls are incredibly rare in the ACT, with an average detection rate of one animal per year since 2005, usually either through reported sightings or road kill.
“They are more active in the winter breeding season, so we have cameras placed at potential sites of quoll activity. They haven’t, as yet, recorded anything but we hope to have more luck soon.”
The vulnerable animal is the largest marsupial carnivore on mainland Australia and plays an important ecological role as a high order predator and preys on animals such as possums, rabbits, birds, reptiles and invertebrates—and is also known to scavenge food.
They use multiple dens and regularly move between them, which can include rock crevices, hollow logs, tree hollows, clumps of vegetation, underground burrows and under buildings.
Major threats to the species are changes to habitat, timber harvesting, poison baiting, competition and predation from introduced carnivores such as foxes and cats, road mortality, bushfire and climate change.
“We hope that one day the ACT can be a healthy breeding ground for quolls, so their strongholds in the region are not just limited to Kosciuszko National Park,” Mr Walker said.
Spotted-tailed quolls are a different species to the eastern quolls being reintroduced to the Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary, as the spotted-tailed are larger and have spots on their tail as well as their body.
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