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Tuesday, May 24 • 17:00 - 17:30
Reintroduction of the western quoll (idnya) to South Australia

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Rabbits remain one of Australia’s most significant pest animals, even at extremely low abundance. Returning a native rabbit predator to fox baited reserves was proposed to assist managing this unsustainable over-grazing by pest rabbits. In South Australia, the largest mammalian carnivore legally possible in the Flinders Ranges was the western quoll (Dasyurus geoffroii). This native predator was lost from the region in the 1880s. A bold conservation program is returning the western quoll to the unfenced Ikara Flinders Ranges National Park (SA). After 6 years of planning 42 quolls, almost all from south-west Western Australia, were released in 2014 and another 37 this year. This project has been a very successful collaborative effort between state governments and a non-government Foundation. FAME (Foundation for Australia’s Most Endangered Species Inc) is sourcing the significant funding required, with the quolls, almost entirely sourced by WA Department of Parks and Wildlife, released onto a reserve that the SA Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources has been fox baiting for over 20 years. This reserve is now co-managed with its traditional Adnyamathanha owners, for which the western quoll (idnya) is very important. Into this partnership has been added the expertise of Zoos SA, undertaking autopsies of dead quolls to assist identification of the primary cause of mortality (feral cats), rearing orphaned babies and treating injuries. In this presentation I will outline the reintroduction process, from sourcing historical accounts to justify the proposal to having quolls born on the Ikara Flinders Ranges National Park for the first time in about 130 years. My Zoos SA colleague Ian Smith will in his talk then highlight the crucial role wildlife vets have played in the project, especially in the critical phase of establishing the new population. During this extremely vulnerable period when saving as many animals as possible to breed can make an exponential difference, the veterinary contribution of Zoos SA has been invaluable. This talk seeks to both highlight an amazing conservation project as well as the value, both ways, in collaborations between ecologists and wildlife vets


Dr David Peacock

David has worked for the State Government for over 20 years. Formerly a national park ranger, his life changed direction when he experienced first-hand the impact and benefits of the new rabbit biocontrol agent rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) on the Flinders Ranges National... Read More →

Tuesday May 24, 2016 17:00 - 17:30 ACST
City Room 3 Adelaide Convention Centre

Attendees (4)