This project aims to translocate 40 wild western quolls (Dasyurus geoffroii) from Western Australia to a newly-established insurance population in the Flinders Ranges National Park.
The vulnerable western quoll, also known as the chuditch, is one of Australia’s native predators, about the size of a small domestic cat. It once occurred in every state and territory but is now restricted to south-west Western Australia. This funding will help restore the species to part of its original range and see if it can, as a carnivore at the top of the food chain, rebalance the local ecosystem in favour of native species.
The funding will be used to control feral cats and foxes before the western quolls are released, and monitor the success of the reintroduced quolls afterwards. It builds on the successful trial release of 38 western quolls in the Flinders Ranges in 2014. The hope is that the expanded population of western quolls will not only continue breeding in the wild but also prey on rabbits, giving the bush the chance to recover from feral grazing pressure. The project will also provide another practical case study in how best to tackle feral cats, through trapping, baiting and other control measures.
Foundation for Australia’s Most Endangered Species, South Australian Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources and Western Australian Department of Parks and Wildlife.