Aussie Ark is a not-for-profit organisation and registered charity dedicated to protect endangered species at risk of extinction. Established in 2011, Aussie Ark’s vision is to play a key role in providing an insurance breeding program to safeguard the future of these threatened species facing a high threat of extinction by creating an insurance population through a captive management strategy.
FNPW is contributing funds to establish an insurance population of Eastern quolls at Barrington Tops in NSW.
Proudly the Eastern quoll population at Aussie Ark is now at 63 individuals including 27 juveniles that were born at Aussie Ark in 2018. Furthermore the young from last year are now excitedly scheduled for release back the wild in NSW Booderee National Park in May 2019.
This project will address the need to protect, and ensure the Eastern Quoll species for many years into the future. Aussie Ark is a purpose-built breeding and management facility to secure a healthy, genetically diverse insurance population. The 600Ha enclosure with wild and natural habitat, allows all species to produce naturally and retain their wild behaviours, away from human contact and predation from invasive species such as the fox and cat, in readiness for wild release. Aussie Ark Provides the highest animal welfare care to ensure the continued success of their natural, captive breeding programs.
The expected outcome of the project is to reach a viable, stable insurance population with planned wild releases in the coming years. It costs $1,500 per Eastern quoll, from breeding to release back into the sanctuary. In our second year, we intend to breed 35 quolls.
2018 saw the construction of additional quoll facilities allowing for increased holding at the conservation organisation. The additional 10 enclosures were successfully completed prior tot he 2018 breeding season.
Aussie Ark also finalized construction of its 400 hectare feral predator proof sanctuary in December 2018 where an additional 10 Eastern quolls are destined to be released in mid 2019.
There is nothing outstanding from the initial phase of the project. Next steps involved the release of juveniles back to the wild in NSW, release of individuals into safe Aussie Ark sanctuaries, and continued insurance population management and growth.
About Eastern Quolls
The Eastern quoll is a medium-sized carnivorous dasyurid marsupial native to Australia. They once inhabited most of Southeast Australia from the east coast of South Australia through Victoria and up to the central coast of NSW. It is believed that the Eastern quoll became extinct on the mainland in 1963 due to the introduction of the red fox and feral cats, yet they survive in Tasmania without these predators.
A slightly built animal with large sensitive ears, thick, soft fur that is coloured fawn, brown or black. Small white spots cover the body except for the bushy tail which may have a white tip. It has two colour phases – ginger-brown or black, both with white spots on the body but not the tail.
Male eastern quolls are about the size of a small domestic cat averaging 60 cm in length and 1.3 kg in weight; females are slightly smaller. Distinguished from the larger Spotted-tailed quoll by the absence of spots on its tail, only four toes on hindfoot, and a less bulky head shape.
The Eastern quoll is a key species as it plays an important role as an ecosystem engineer, scavenging on carrion on the forest floor. They are also a natural predator maintaining balance in the bush.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY
FNPW supports projects across Australia. In the spirit of reconciliation we acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Country and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture.
PROGRESS OF THIS PROJECT
The project was completed in 2019.
This project was funded by FNPW in 2018.
Latest news on this project.
Following the another extremely successful breeding season at Aussie Ark in 2018, and the birth of 30 new baby quolls, the Aussie Ark insurance population is now the largest mainland population of Eastern quolls. As a part of the Tasmanian Quoll Conservation Program (TQCP), the Aussie Ark population continues to grow protecting this charismatic species.
While we continue to retain a protected and genetically robust population within specialised facilities at Aussie Ark, we are excited to announce that 10 of the newest generation of Eastern quolls will be released in the first Aussie Ark 400Ha wild sanctuary in 2019! Additionally we are focussed on returning Eastern quolls to the wild in mainland Australia with 20 Eastern quolls returning Booderee National Park NSW in early 2019. Learn more about Aussie Ark Eastern quolls return to the wild below.
Aussie Arks commitment to the conservation of Australian small Mammals, particularly those found along the Great Dividing Range, is unparalleled. Aussie Ark is the ONLY privatised conservation program that has vowed to bring this area back to its pre-European settlement state.