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Sniffing out Kowari

News release
05 July 2022
Sniffing out Kowari

Conservation Dogs have been used to help identify active Kowari burrows on Clifton Hills Station as part of a University of Sydney PhD project.

The use of dogs from Skylos Ecology was trialled as part of the project, which was supported by Team Kowari and the University of Sydney. The dogs were trained to identify active kowari burrows, with the hope that research can then be undertaken to identify what makes certain habitat features attractive to the native marsupial.

During trapping, five volunteers, including two from Skylos Ecology, worked alongside PhD student Billy La Marca and two ecologists from the SA Arid Lands (SAAL) Landscape Board.

A total of 400 traps were set across two sites for four days each in May. This trapping effort resulted in the capture of 35 Kowaris, representing the best numbers ever recorded for a single trapping event in the area. The species is nationally-threatened.

Other animals caught in the traps included 264 long-haired rats, two dunnarts, a kultarr and a hopping mouse.

SAAL Senior Community Ecologist Kristian Bell said pigs, a cat, a fox and numerous dingoes were also sighted, with the latter species guilty of raiding the camp chip supply while the team were out checking traps.