Idnya dispersing in Northern Flinders
The movement of Idnya (Western Quolls) on Adnyamathanha country between the two northern Flinders Ranges national parks is a good sign that reintroduction programs in the area have been successful.
Almost 100 Idnya were translocated to the Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park over the past two years, sourced from populations in Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park, Western Australia and a Taronga Zoo breeding program. The reintroductions happened with the support of the board’s five-year Bounceback and Beyond project, which ended in June this year, and through the National Parks and Wildlife SA’s Bounceback program, in partnership with FAME.
The Idnya Reintroduction Support program runs until 30 June 2024 and will also protect Andu (Yellow-footed Rock-wallabies) and two threatened flora species – the Slender Bellfruit and Xerothamnella parvifolia, alongside the Idnya.
Management of pest species that negatively impact Idnya has begun in the corridor between the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park and Vulkathunha as part of the project. Aerial baiting to control foxes took place in November this year, in collaboration with Primary Industries and Regions SA and National Parks and Wildlife Service SA. This management effort took place across 15 properties, covering an area of 330,000 ha.
Seventy monitoring cameras have been placed across private properties in the corridor where Idnya sightings have been detected and where it is thought they will move into. By monitoring the Idnya, these cameras will provide the board’s ecologists, NPWSSA rangers, local pastoralists and conservation land managers with information about where the species is dispersing, the type of habitat they are using and possible movement corridors. The cameras will also be used to monitor the effectiveness of aerial baiting activities by assessing fox numbers.
A trapping event scheduled for early in 2024 will provide additional information on the Idnya population on private properties. Data collected will show if a particular sex or age class are dispersing, if the animals are maintaining good body condition and health, and whether breeding had continued to be successful.
As part of the Idnya project, rabbit warren surveys were undertaken on a property close to Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park where quolls have been observed. Rabbit warren ripping is planned for May next year, subject to appropriate approvals. Ripping large rabbit warrens has been shown to reduce the number of cats in the area by removing their food source and therefore reducing the risk of predation.
The Idnya Project is delivered by the SA Arid Lands Landscape Board, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.