Quoll reintroduction success
23 June 2020
Posted 11 June 2020.
The results of camera based monitoring in the Flinders Ranges have confirmed that quolls and possums have established populations within the Flinders Ranges. It also shows that ongoing control of cats and foxes appears to be effective in maintaining predation pressure to low levels that allow these species to persist.
While camera monitoring results have been tracking a negative trend in detections of quolls since a high in 2017, an increase since winter 2018 provided confidence that threat management is helping the population survive. Possum detections are less volatile and Quolls and possums have been detected on cameras on the adjacent Arkaba Conservancy for the first time.
The fledgling quoll and possum populations have weathered three of the driest and most extreme years recorded for the region and have shown their resilience in persisting through these conditions.
These results highlight the success of the reintroduction program and are an example of the positive conservation outcomes for threatened species that can be achieved through partnerships forged as part of this project.
In 2014, the western quoll (idnya) was reintroduced to Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park thanks to a partnership between the Foundation for Australia’s Most Endangered Species (FAME) and the Department for Environment and Water as part of its long-running Bounceback Program. In the following year, brushtail possums (virlda) were also reintroduced. Both species were previously abundant and widespread across the region, but became locally extinct due to predation by cats and foxes, land clearing and ongoing habitat degradation from feral goats, livestock and rabbits.
The Bounceback program has effectively reduced fox numbers across the landscape and in 2017, predator control wasexpanded to also trial broad-scale feral cat control across a 500-square kilometre area of the park to support increased population growth of the western quoll and brushtail possum.
Ongoing monitoring of the populations of both the idnya and virlda is undertaken both on park and in surrounding areas as part of the Bounceback and Beyond project.
The recent expansion of the reintroduction project outside of the park was made possible through a partnership with the National Parks and Wildlife SA and the Landscape SA Arid Lands Board’s Bounceback and Beyond project made possible through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.