Exciting discovery of Spot-tailed Quolls in Victoria

Friday 7 Oct 2016

 
Two rare and threatened Spot-tailed Quolls have been discovered in the Bendoc region in East Gippsland in Australia. Spot-tailed Quolls are the largest carnivorous marsupial on mainland Australia, they are easily identified by their brown coats, with conspicuous white spots over their body and tail. The species is currently classified as endangered on mainland Australia.

The detections are only the second time the species has been found in over five years of VicForests pre-harvest surveys. Dr Chela Powell, Manager, Biodiversity Research & Development for VicForests said this discovery is very significant as detections of these animals have been quite rare in recent years across East Gippsland.

“This is an exciting find. We captured images of what appears to be two different Spot-tailed Quolls on remote, infra-red cameras during one of our targeted pre-harvest fauna surveys. “Before this discovery there had only been one sighting in over five years of pre-harvest surveys by across the East Gippsland region,” Dr Powell said.

VicForests ensures that important biodiversity values, including threatened species such as Spot-tailed Quolls, are identified and appropriately protected from timber harvesting operations. This includes engaging independent ecologists to conduct targeted surveys in areas planned for harvest on sites which are most likely to contain threatened species.

“When a Spot-tailed Quoll is detected in an area planned for harvest, VicForests works with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) to create a Special Management Plan to protect the animal from any harvesting operations. The area that contains the most ideal habitat for the species is reserved and excluded from harvesting operations,” Dr Powell said.

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