QUOLLS ON GROOTE EYLANDT
The Northern quoll is a species at risk of extinction – particularly since the spread of cane toads across the northern reaches of the Top End. Ecologists have been keen to quickly learn as much as possible about the northern quoll so that it can be effectively managed in the face of this new threat. Groote Eylandt, situated about 50 kilometre offshore, is the largest area in Australia to have escaped the influence of many of the introduced feral animals common to the mainland.
“This project shows how science and community can work together on a common goal and achieve mutually beneficial and respectful outcomes in what is a very cross-cultural context.”
Jaime Heiniger, University of Queensland
A site of high conservation significance both nationally and internationally, the island makes up part of the quoll’s natural habitat range. Groote Eylandt’s unspoilt vegetation communities have been little affected by human activity and so quolls continue to thrive here, providing the perfect conditions for researchers to study them more closely and learn how to best protect this rapidly vanishing species.
Territory Natural Resource Management supported a collaborative project between researchers at the University of Queensland (UQ) and Anindilyakwa Land Council (ALC) Rangers. ALC rangers were involved with every step of the research project, and contributed essential knowledge about country. The information collected from this research has provided new and exciting insights into the life cycle of quolls and will help direct future conservation management actions. School groups have also visited and learned about the northern quoll and the work being done by UQ and ALC.