Western Quoll (Idnya) and Brush-Tail Possum (Virlda) Update March 2017

Published: 12 Apr 2017

Welcome to the next edition of Idnya & Virlda eNews, a regular update on the trial reintroduction of the Western Quoll and Brushtail Possum to the Flinders Ranges National Park, South Australia. Idnya and Virlda are the Adnyamathanha names for the western quoll and brushtail possum.

In late March, quoll trappings were undertaken with the very positive results. 4% capture rate up from 2.8% in November 2016, therefore there is no evidence of population decline over the summer.

The March trap monitoring showed a 46% increase in the number of individual quolls captured since November 2016 up from 24 to 35 animals. The individual capture rate was 4%, up from 2.8% in November and higher than is typical for similar quoll monitoring across populations in Western Australia.

This does not indicate an increase in the population as the breeding season finished prior to the November trapping.  However, the most likely explanation is that food is harder to find with individuals covering more ground and more likely to overcome their caution to investigate the baits.  The mobility of the new recruits to the population is also likely to be higher as they would have been much younger in November, with many still likely to be returning to their birth dens.

The Project now sits at a critical point. Although the quolls and possums have been reintroduced, and by all accounts numbers are steady, for long-term success, the numbers need to continue to grow.

In 2017/18 we will enter the most important part of the project – sustaining the numbers in the wild, which relies on continued feral cat management and ongoing maintenance over the next few years to ensure the best possible chance of their longevity.

We still need your help  - please consider a tax-deductible donation today.

Program Partners
The Idnya and Virlda reintroduction is a partnership between the Foundations for Australia’s Most Endangered Species (FAME) and the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR).

Western Australia’s Department of Parks and Wildlife donated the Idnya from their conservation parks. Australian Wildlife Conservancy donated the Virlda from their sanctuary at Yookamurra in the Murraylands.

The project would not have come to fruition if it were not for the many donors, land managers and partners of Bounceback for their support and generosity. For this we say thank you.

Information within this newsletter is sourced and provided courtesy of DEWNR.

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