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Translocation of Western Quolls to the Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges

Translocation of Western Quolls to the Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges

April 13, 2022

The trapping of Idnya/Western Quolls in the Ikara-Flinders Ranges last December returned positive results, and was an important part of the preparation for the translocation of 25 individuals further north.

Now, this effort has come to fruition: Idnya have been successfully released in the Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park.

TRAPPING FOR TRANSLOCATION

Prior to the move, trapping was commenced to ensure the population remained stable.


Over this period a record number of Idnya were recorded (more than 110) making the selection of 25 quolls for the translocation a simple process.

It is important to limit the stress on the animals, meaning the team had a marathon day in the field attaching all 25 radio collars, driving north to the release site and, eventually, releasing the quolls around midnight following a welcome from Adnyamathanha elders.

A POSITIVE START

“These capture rates are a positive indicator for establishing the new population at Vulkathunha,” said Rob Brandle, Senior Conservation Ecologist at SA Department for Environment and Water (DEW).

“The continued control of introduced predators to low numbers, the fantastic plant and insect response following recent rains, and the abundant shelter opportunities at Vulkathunha bode well for healthy recruitment and population growth this spring.”

Two days after release, all quolls were found alive and well - a promising start.

In subsequent weeks, tracking of the collars via plane confirmed 23 of the animals in the area, with the remaining two potentially out of range.

This marks another remarkable achievement in the longstanding partnership between FAME, DEW and SA Arid Lands as we work to rewild South Australia’s arid region.

Learn more at the project page here.