For the past three years, My Green World’s partner charity, Foundation for Australia’s Most Endangered Species (FAME) has been working tirelessly along with the South Australian Department of Environment to reintroduce the endangered western quoll and locally extinct brushtail possum to arid and semi-arid Australia, starting in South Australia’s Flinders Ranges.
Endangered Australian Animals Return Home
Brushtail Possums and Western Quolls Return to the Flinders Ranges
FAME’s hard work is starting to pay off. In 2014 they witnessed the successful first stage re-introduction of western quolls to the Flinders Ranges after an absence of 130 years. This year for the first time in more than 50 years the brushtail possum can be seen in the Flinders Ranges.
In May this year 79 possums – many with pouch young on board – were translocated from the Australian Wildlife Conservancy’s Yookamurra Sanctuary to Wilpena Pound and released into the wild.
Together with the western quoll, the return of the brushtail possum is the beginning of what we hope will be the restoration of many of the original mammal species to the region.
The restoration of two important species – a top predator, and an important foliage eater and seed disperser – is a unique and ground-breaking achievement.
Their project is attracting national attention, with at least one new plan to restore the western quoll to other parts of its original range now on the national threatened species agenda.
Possums in the Flinders like ducks to water
The possums in the Flinders are doing very well, with very few deaths so far and none that can be blamed on feral predators. It seems the possums, despite being raised in a sanctuary with no predators at all, are so far managing to avoid the cats in the Flinders that are still taking quolls from time to time.
Feral Control supports increase in quoll numbers
Quoll numbers are increasing too, with the first photo of this year’s babies now available. Team member Pat was lucky enough to meet Ada (one of this year’s newly released female quolls) during routine trapping. Ada had beautiful babies with her when she was captured at her den site for a collar check. Pat was impressed by the sight and managed to take a photo for FAME.
Ada’s young, along with what we hope will be a bumper crop of some hundreds of other juvenile quolls, will be ready to leave their mothers by the time you read this article. If all goes well, the population of western quoll in the Flinders Ranges will have moved from zero in early 2014 to hundreds of animals by Christmas. What a great Christmas gift to endangered wildlife.
FAME donors are directly responsible for the success so far of this wonderful wildlife restoration project. A final translocation of quolls is due in Autumn next year. Sincere thanks to all the wonderful people who have given, and continue to give, to make it all possible.
Your gift to FAME will support the continuation of the Western Quoll and Brushtailed Possum Reintroduction to the Flinders Ranges.