SPECIES: Dasyurus geoffroii — Western Quoll
This week, we revisit a species close to our hearts at FAME, the Western Quoll, or Chuditch. Roughly the size of a small cat, with big eyes and ears, making them expertly equipped for hunting. White spots on their brownish fur actually help diminish their outline from the moon at night. As a top-order predator, quolls play an important role in balancing local ecosystems.
The Western Quoll is found only in the south-west of WA in the wild and in the Flinders Ranges in SA, where it has been successfully reintroduced, after over 100 years of local extinction. The reintroduction project, which began in 2014, was a joint effort between FAME and the South Australian Government. Monitoring statistics over the past couple of years are hugely encouraging, and, for the first time in living memory, the Adnyamathanha people are able to see the animal that is one of their totems and mentioned in dreamtime stories thriving in the wild. It's enough to give you goosebumps.
The project is now in its second stage, focussing on feral cat management in order to help the Western Quoll population establish itself further in the region. More positive news also that the encouraging population numbers from this project may lend itself to a future reintroduction project in the Gammon Ranges in the top north-east corner of SA. For more info visit the project page of the website.
Photo: Michael J Barritt