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06 Jul

Eastern Quolls Breeding in Canberra – New Videos

Photo: One of Mulligan’s Flat new residents - the Eastern Quoll. These animals nest in hollow logs and dens to protect their young.

Photo: One of Mulligans Flat’s new residents – the Eastern Quoll. These animals nest in hollow logs and dens to protect their young.


 

The Eastern Quoll is making a comeback at Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary. For the first time in 80 years, the marsupial is breeding in the ACT.

 

Just a few months ago Eastern Quolls were translocated from Tasmania and Mount Rothwell Biodiversity Interpretation Centre (VIC) to the predator-proof environment. Despite some of these agile climbers escaping from the Sanctuary soon after release, the rest appear to be settled and are breeding successfully.

 

Professor Adrian Manning, of the Australian National University (ANU), leads the major research partnership with the ACT Government, CSIRO, James Cook University and the Woodlands and Wetlands Trust to fund and deliver this ground-breaking project.

 

“This project is researching the translocation of the Eastern Quoll, and to have found evidence of females breeding in the first year is very promising for the future establishment of a population in the Sanctuary” said Professor Manning. “Our remote cameras are also showing the females settling down to their favorite dens – which is a great sign.”

 

hoto: Upon recapture, ANU ecologists discover the beginning stages of baby quolls. Credit: Will Bateman

Photo: Upon recapture, ANU ecologists discover the beginning stages of baby quolls. Credit: Will Batson

The Woodlands and Wetlands Trust is delighted to learn the quolls are breeding as it is the best indication yet that the animals are settled and happy in their new environment.

 

“it’s great to see the protective environment of the Sanctuary enabling Eastern Quolls to breed free of predation from foxes and cats” said Daniel Iglesias, Director, ACT Parks and Conservation.

 

The sanctuary is surrounded by a 11.5 km specially designed fence that prevents introduced predators from entering. Without the fence, quolls, and other introduced animals like the bettong, would be gobbled up within minutes.

 

Although Mulligans Flat Sanctuary lacks introduced predators, the Eastern Quoll is a predator itself.

 

“As a native predator, quolls play an important role in the environment feeding on insects, birds and small mammals,” said Mr. Iglesias.

 

The reintroduction of this fiery mammal marks another significant step in restoring the natural woodland ecosystem for the Woodlands and Wetlands Trust, ACT Government and ANU ecologists. Other successful introductions include the Eastern Bettong, the Bush Stone-curlew and New Holland Mouse.

 

At this point the discovery of breeding is very promising for quolls at Mulligans Flat. Once baby quolls are delivered to their den by their mum, they quickly mature and enter the breeding population for the next year. This means Spring in the sanctuary may be defined by spotty Australian mammals dancing through the night.

 

For a chance to see these creatures in Spring, you can book into a twilight tour at bettongs.org

 

For recent videos captured by ANU ecologists from the Mulligans Flat Goorooyarroo Woodland Experiment team, see below.

 

For high resolution footage please contact Elsie Percival at commanager@woodlandsandwetlands.org.au or 0432 574 887.

Please attribute any use of videos to Professor Adrian Manning and the Mulligans Flat Goorooyarroo Woodland Experiment at ANU.

 

Media contact 

Geoff Virtue

Phone: 6205 0312 or 0418 961 806

Email: Geoff.Virtue@act.gov.au

 

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