Eastern quolls returned to the wild Australian mainland

By AG Staff 15 March 2018
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The last eastern quolls of the mainland died out in about 1963, so their return is long-awaited.

EASTERN QUOLLS have been reintroduced to the wild of the Australian mainland, where they haven’t been seen in over half a century.

These little carnivores once occupied a huge area from Melbourne to Brisbane, but until this recent reintroduction, could only be found in Tasmania in small numbers.

The translocation of 20 quolls from Tasmania to Booderee National Park in NSW on Tuesday is a part of a much larger project to restore the biodiversity of the area.

The first animal to be successfully reintroduced to Booderee was the long-nosed potoroo in 2014, then the southern-brown bandicoots in 2016.

In a statement, Booderee National Park Natural Resource Manager Nick Dexter explained that feral predator control was behind the success stories.

“We’ve spent 15 years undertaking intensive feral predator control in the surrounding region. This makes Booderee unique and it’s already led to success in reintroducing other locally extinct mammals to Booderee in recent years so we’re confident that this project has every chance of success.”

eastern quoll reintroduction

An eastern quoll being released. (Image Credit: Morgan Cardiff)

While there have been several attempts in the past to breed and reintroduce the eastern quolls into fenced off areas on the mainland, this will be the first time they’re reintroduced to the wild.

“Over the next three months the eastern quolls will be intensively monitored via GPS tracking and then regularly monitored over three years,” Australian National University researcher Natasha Robinson said.

“Foxes, both outside and entering the park will also be monitored and managed with the aim of ensuring fox incursion to the park is very limited.

“This will help us understand how resilient the eastern quolls can be to very low densities of feral predators in the landscape.”