Idnya babies for newly relocated Western quolls

News article |

Seven locally born idnya (western quolls) were among 24 recorded during trapping programs to monitor the survival and growth of the newly-established idnya population in the Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park in December 2022.

In the first of what will become an annual survey, the 24 recorded idnya also included six from a population translocated from the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park in April the same year and a further 11 from populations sourced from West Australian and a Taronga Zoo breeding program in November. One unexpected virldu (brushtail possum) was also caught.

Rangers from the nearby Nantawarrina Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) Erica Wilson, Lyeishah Coulthard and Julette Johnson assisted with the trapping and monitoring program on Adnyamathanha country.

IPA Rangers assisted in determining new individuals by scanning for microchips, and searching for collared individuals from either WA or Taronga. They identified the idnya’s gender, took scientific measurements, scat samples and genetic samples and re-released the captured idnya.

Julette had the good fortune of naming the first new-born individual male Timon – from the Lion King, with a Disney theme selected for new idnya found in 2022. Animals are named after a theme for each monitoring program.

SAAL Senior Conservation Ecologist Rob Brandle said the numbers were great for a first trapping event and the program recorded a good dispersal across the release areas and beyond.

During 2022, 50 quolls were translocated to the area. They included 25 from the existing population in the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park as the only individuals released before the breeding season.

“We know that about 10 collared animals that weren’t caught during trapping are still alive, bringing the total known to be alive in the area trapped to 34,” Mr Brandle said.

“It’s a good sign that indicates animals are still out there but not going into traps, probably because food remains plentiful in response to the good conditions in the area.”

“These early results indicate the population is going well. Radio-tracking and target trapping the November-released idnya will continue to monitor their condition, survival and hopefully catch a larger sample of the population.

Once home to the idnya, the species hadn’t been seen in the northern Flinders Ranges for more than a century. Now listed as endangered and conservation dependent, the translocated idnya are thriving in their new environment on the lands of the Adnyamathanha people.

The reintroduction and monitoring of idnya to the Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park was undertaken as part of the Bounceback and Beyond Program, which is supported by the SA Arid Lands Landscape Board through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program, National Parks and Wildlife Service SA, the Department for Environment and Water and the Foundation for Australia’s Most Endangered (FAME).

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