Meet the next generation of western quolls being released into Flinders Range National Park, destined to re-establish the once-extinct marsupial’s population in South Australia.
Thirty-seven endangered marsupials known as western quolls were flown into Wilpena Pound at the start of June, supplementing a population of 50 quolls released as part of the successful initial trial last April.
The program is a joint effort between the Foundation for Australia’s Most Endangered Species (FAME), the South Australian Department of the Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR), and the South Australian Conservation and Wildlife Management branch of the Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia (SSAA).
FAME CEO Cheryl Hill praised the efforts of shooters involved in the project, stating that “the hard work of SSAA members over many years in the Flinders Ranges has reduced fox and goat numbers to the point where endangered wildlife can survive and thrive there for the first time in living memory.”
“Although there are still some feral cats in the area, quolls are known to survive in the presence of cats…The important thing is the foxes have been controlled,” said Hill.
Western quolls were once widespread across most of the Australia, but have declined dramatically over the past 100 years, as a result of competition with cats and foxes, as well as land clearing.
The brown and white spotted mammals are about the size of a domestic cat, and were once one of the top predators in central Australia.