Quoll – Northern Quoll
The following information was supplied by Tina Ball, QPWS.
The Mackay Highlands, which includes Crediton and Gamma State Forests, and Homevale and Eungella National Parks, contain a high level of biodiversity and provide habitat for the northern quoll Dasyurus hallucatus, one of the few remaining population in Australia that does not appear to have been decimated by cane toads – despite toads being present in the area.
Carnivorous (insects, reptiles, small mammals, birds, amphibians, carrion)
Marsupial (pouch for young)
Short lived, ~3 years, but males generally die post-mating
Their habitat around the Mackay Highlands is mostly eucalypt communities with large boulders/logs within 1km of boulder creek lines. They have been found denning in logs, tree stumps and under large boulders. Wildfire is a major threat to the survival of quoll populations. This project is looking at quoll survivorship from controlled low intensity burns as a method of wildfire prevention. Funding is from within the Agency. Cameras and equipment have been purchased as part of Agency funds, and Reef Catchments has assisted through the purchase of radio-collars and the use of their remote cameras to increase camera numbers available to the project.
Quolls are being surveyed at Crediton State Forest, Gamma section of Eungella National Park and Homevale National Park, before and after planned burns by using remote-censored cameras, micro-chipping individuals, and radio-tracking selected individuals. This will determine short-term survivorship from the actual fire and longer-term survival from potential reduction of food supply and ground cover providing protection from predation.
Results to date include:
den and habitat use for 8 quolls with radio-collars fitted
10 quolls fitted with identifiable microchips
60% of cameras positioned at Gamma with images of quolls
Identification of individual quolls from photos using spot patterns on their pelt
Black-headed pythons are a natural predator of quolls (collared quoll tracked to the belly of a python).