Flora and Fauna Guarantee
Spot-tailed Quoll (Dasyurus
Life History and Ecology
Decline and Threats
Existing Conservation Measures
The Spot-tailed Quoll (or Spotted-tailed Quoll
or Tiger Quoll, Dasyurus maculatus) is the largest marsupial carnivore
on mainland Australia. Males have a head and body length of 380-760 mm,
a tail length of 370-550 mm and weigh up to 7 kg (average 3 kg), while
females have a head and body of 350-450 mm, a tail length of 340-420 mm
and weigh up to 4 kg (average 2 kg). Fur colour ranges from light to very
dark brown, with conspicuous white spots over the body and tail. No other
quoll species in Australia has a spotted tail. The Spot-tailed Quoll has
a relatively large head with a wide jaw gape and large carnivorous dentition,
including long, curved canine teeth (Edgar and Belcher 1995).
The Spot-tailed Quoll occurs in eastern Australia,
including Tasmania. There are two described subspecies: D. maculatus
gracilis, which is confined to northern Queensland; and D. maculatus
maculatus, which occurs in south-eastern Queensland, New South Wales,
Victoria and Tasmania (Edgar and Belcher 1995). Recent molecular analysis
(Firestone et al. 1999) indicates that the Tasmanian population
is genetically quite distinct from mainland populations, suggesting that
it should be regarded as a separate subspecies.
The Spot-tailed Quoll appears to have had a
broad distribution in Victoria, excluding the Mallee, Wimmera, Northern
Plains and Alpine areas, at altitudes ranging from sea level to at least
1100 m (NRE records; Mansergh 1995). Due to declines in the range and
abundance since European settlement, the Spot-tailed Quoll now survives
in several discrete areas, including some isolated, highly fragmented
populations. Possible current centres of distribution include:
- Eastern Victoria, from the foothills and
ranges north and east of Melbourne through to the NSW border (and likely
to be contiguous with NSW populations adjacent to the NSW-Vic border),
including north-eastern Victoria and lowland East Gippsland. Recent
records verify the existence of the Spot-tailed Quoll in at least some
locations within this large area.
- Otway Ranges. Recent records verify the
existence of Spot-tailed Quolls in the area.
- South-western Victoria, centred on Mt Eccles
National Park, but also possibly including other forested land in the
region. The most recent confirmed record is from Mt Eccles National
Park in October 2000.
- South Gippsland. A record from the Strezlecki
Ranges in 2000 is the most recent record.
- Macedon Ranges. There are two records of
Spot-tailed Quolls from the Macedon Ranges in 1991.
- North-western Victoria. The only record
from this area is in 1991.
There is the possibility that populations of
Quolls still exist in areas poorly surveyed or unsurveyed, such as in
the Central Highlands or north-eastern Victoria. Even in areas reasonably
well surveyed, such as parts of East Gippsland, techniques used in general
fauna surveys may have overlooked or not detected Quolls (Andrew Murray
NRE pers. comm.). The species is apparent absent from Wilsons Promontory,
an area of approximately 50,000 ha and reserved as a national park since
1898, although there are two unconfirmed sight records, dating from 1908
and the 1960s (NRE Wildlife Atlas database).
Within Victoria, the Spot-tailed Quoll is now
confined largely to public land, mostly in State forest, parks and conservation
The Spot-tailed Quoll is generally a species
of forested habitats, particularly wet sclerophyll forest, but also occurs
in lowland forest, dry foothill forest, rainforest, River Red Gum forest,
sub-alpine woodland and dry ‘rainshadow’ forest such as in the Snowy River
valley in East Gippsland (Mansergh and Belcher 1992; Edgar and Belcher
1995; Belcher 2000b). As males can move over large distances, animals
can occasionally be encountered in ‘non-typical’ habitats including heathland,
coastal dunes, dry open woodland and even outer urban residential areas
bordering on forested land.
The structural complexity of the habitat appears
to be particularly important, with the species favouring areas with a
dense overstorey and understorey and with abundant rocks, large, hollow-bearing
trees, rocky escarpments and/or fallen logs for den sites. Areas with
a high density of mammal prey items are also utilised. Within these areas,
Spot-tailed Quolls preferentially occupy drainage lines, gullies, flats
and escarpments, but avoid mid-slopes, and only use saddles to cross between
catchments (Belcher 2000b). Prey densities and den site availability appear
to be key features influencing habitat utilisation (Belcher 2000b).
History and Ecology
Spot-tailed Quolls are generally solitary animals
(Belcher 1994). They occur at low densities (Jones and Rose 1996), and
occupy very large home ranges, with males requiring larger areas than
females - in eastern Victoria, males occupy home ranges in the order of
2000-2200 ha and females 700-850 ha (Belcher 2000b). Size of home range
is related to habitat quality, particularly the availability of den sites
and the density of mammal prey items (Belcher 2000b). The home range of
a male Spot-tailed Quoll may cover the territories of several females.
Spot-tailed Quolls are carnivorous, feeding
mainly on mammals including rodents, possums, small dasyurids, bandicoots
and rabbits. Reptiles, birds and invertebrates are also eaten, and the
carcasses of larger mammals such as wombats and wallabies may be scavenged
(Belcher 1995, 1997, 2000b). Quolls will also prey upon domestic poultry.
Spot-tailed Quolls are generally nocturnal or crepuscular, although they
will hunt during the day, especially for possums in tree hollows, where
they are much easier to catch than in the tree canopy at night. The species
is terrestrial and arboreal, and is an adept climber, hunting for prey
in tree hollows and the canopy. Spot-tailed Quolls shelter and rear young
in dens, and individual animals use a number of dens, perhaps 15 or more,
and may use a different den each night. Den sites include caves, rock
crevices, hollow logs, tree hollows, rabbit and small wombat burrows (Belcher
The Spot-tailed Quoll has a relatively short
life-span for an animal of its size, with a maximum of 5-6 years observed
in captivity (Belcher 2000b), and probably only 3-4 years in the wild.
Maximum weight is attained at about three years of age (Belcher 2000b).
Mating occurs during winter, with an average litter size of five, born
after a gestation period of about three weeks. The young become independent
at weaning, at about five months of age, and as few as one or two young
per female may be weaned (Fleay 1940). Female Spot-tailed Quolls generally
do not breed until two years of age, and the majority of females breed
only every second year (Belcher 2000b). This means that at least some
females may only breed once or twice during their lives, and the overall
reproductive output and recruitment to the adult population is probably
quite low. Thus, populations may have a very poor ability to recover from
a local or regional decline in numbers.
Spot-tailed Quoll scats have a strong and distinctive
odour, and are deposited in communal defecation sites, called ‘latrines’,
often in exposed areas like rock ledges. It is believed that these latrine
sites are an important means of communication, indicating territory and
perhaps reproductive status (Belcher 1994; Kruuk and Jarman 1995).
No population or density estimates are available
for Spot-tailed Quolls in Victoria. In Tasmania, Spot-tailed Quoll density
ranged from an estimated 1 per 300 ha to 1 per 1700 ha, with an average
of 1 per 400 ha, and the total population was estimated at about 3600
animals in 1.25 million ha of habitat (Jones and Rose 1996). This figure,
although preliminary, does serve to illustrate two points: 1) the relatively
low density at which Spot-tailed Quolls exist, even in ‘optimal’ habitat,
and 2) the large areas required for Spot-tailed Quoll conservation.
Although the Spot-tailed Quoll is rarely seen,
in some instances it can be trapped reasonably readily (Andrew Murray,
NRE, pers. comm.), and can become habituated to the presence of humans,
such as around camping sites and rubbish dumps (Jones and Rose 1996; Belcher
2000b). However, in some targeted surveys in Victoria in areas known to
be inhabited by Spot-tailed Quolls, only very low detection rates were
achieved (Belcher 2000b), including only three detections in over 4000
trap nights at several sites in the Otway Ranges (Belcher 2000a). Finding
latrine sites is quite difficult, and locating den sites is virtually
impossible (Belcher 2000b), unless animals have been captured and fitted
The Spot-tailed Quoll is considered Endangered
in Victoria (NRE 2000) and is listed as Threatened under the Flora
and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988. The south-eastern subspecies (D.
m. maculatus) is considered Vulnerable nationally and the northern
subspecies (D. m. maculatus) is considered Endangered nationally
(Maxwell et al. 1996; ANZECC 2000).
There is a recorded historical decline of the
Spot-tailed Quoll from about 50% of its former range in Victoria (Mansergh
1984; Mansergh and Belcher 1992), due to clearing and fragmentation of
habitat, direct or indirect persecution including poisoning and trapping,
and disease. Within the remaining habitat, Spot-tailed Quolls are suspected
to be declining in at least some, if not most, of their current range.
The evidence for this decline includes substantially reduced reporting
rates in the last 30 years, including a seven-fold decline in reporting
rates from the Otway Ranges, and extremely low detection rates from targeted
surveys in some areas (eg. Otway Ranges) (Belcher 2000b).
Within Victoria, Spot-tailed Quolls are considered
relatively common only in the upper Snowy River-Tingaringy area of East
Gippsland (NRE Wildlife Atlas; Andrew Murray NRE pers. comm.) The Otway
Ranges was once considered a stronghold for the species, but recent surveys
have detected very few animals, indicating the population is alarmingly
small. In south-western Victoria, much of the remaining forested habitat
is highly fragmented, and probably only small numbers of Quolls survive
in the region. Only limited, isolated habitat is available for Quolls
in the Strezlecki Ranges, and any surviving population is likely to be
critically small and isolated. An intensive survey in January 2001 in
the area of the 2000 record failed to locate any animals (Andrew Murray
NRE pers. comm.). It is not known if any Quolls survive in north-western
Victoria or the Macedon Ranges.
The species is thought to be facing threats
from several sources, including primary and secondary poisoning from wild
dog/dingo, fox and perhaps rabbit control programs, competition from dogs,
foxes and cats, predation of juvenile quolls by dogs and foxes, and timber
harvesting and associated activities (Mansergh and Belcher 1992; Edgar
and Belcher 1995; Jones and Rose 1996; Maxwell et al. 1996; Belcher
1998, 2000a, b). Spot-tailed Quoll populations may also be still experiencing
the long-term effects of previous habitat fragmentation and clearing for
agriculture and plantations.
At least some populations of Spot-tailed Quoll
are likely to be so small and isolated that they may be facing general
extinction processes affecting all small populations, such as the effects
of stochastic events (eg. fire, drought, fluctuating prey abundance, disease)
and inbreeding depression, greatly increasing their vulnerability to extinction.
In addition to the Spot-tailed Quoll, there
are another three species of quolls occurring in Australia – Western Quoll
Dasyurus geoffroii, Eastern Quoll Dasyurus viverrinus and
Northern Quoll Dasyurus hallucatus. All four quoll species have
declined substantially in range and abundance since European settlement.
The Western Quoll was once the most widespread species, occurring across
70% of Australia in all mainland States and the Northern Territory, but
has disappeared from about 90% of its former range and is now confined
to a small area in Western Australia (Serena and Soderquist 1995; Maxwell
et al. 1996). The Eastern Quoll is extinct on mainland Australia
but is still reasonably common in Tasmania (Godsell 1995; Maxwell et
al. 1996). The Northern Quoll has declined in or disappeared from
at least 50% of its former range in northern Australia (Braithwaite and
Begg 1995; Maxwell et al. 1996). Both the Eastern and Western Quolls
formerly occurred in Victoria but are now extinct there.
Sodium monofluroacetate (1080) is toxic to
mammals and is used widely in Australia to control a variety of pest mammals
including European rabbits, wild dogs, dingos, foxes, feral pigs, possums
and macropods. It is highly toxic to dogs and foxes but is relatively
less toxic to native marsupial carnivores including the Spot-tailed Quoll
(McIlroy 1981). For fox and dog control, several bait types and dose rates
are used in Victoria. Commercially prepared ‘Foxoffä
’ baits contain 3 mg of 1080, while cooked meat baits prepared by NRE
for fox control contain 3.3 mg of 1080, and predator baits used for wild
dog control contain 4.5 mg of 1080 (registered product labels), although
dose rates in baits prepared by NRE using manual injection of 1080 have
the potential to vary somewhat (Ross Williamson NRE, pers. comm.).
Baits are legally required to be buried to a minimum depth of 8 cm, with
a recommended depth of 8 – 10 cm. Aerial baiting for wild dog control
ceased in the 1960s in Victoria, and only buried baiting (in conjunction
with trapping, snaring and barrier fencing) is currently employed.
The risk to Quolls from poison baiting programs
depends upon several factors, including the amount of 1080 ingested, the
size of the animal, and the palatability and accessibility of baits to
Quolls. The higher tolerance of Spot-tailed Quolls to 1080 is offset by
the smaller body size than dogs and foxes (McIlroy 1981), and a dose of
3-4.5 mg ingested from a single bait is potentially lethal to juvenile,
many female and some male Quolls (Murray 1998; Belcher 2000b). A large
male animal consuming two baits (ingesting 6-9 mg of 1080) within a short
period is also potentially at risk.
Spot-tailed Quolls are carnivores and will
readily consume fresh and cooked meat fox and dog baits and commercially
prepared fox baits (studies cited in Murray 1995; Belcher 2000b). Dried
meat baits may be less palatable to wild quolls than standard fresh or
cooked meat baits (McIlroy 1992; Morris 1992; Belcher 2000b) but were
readily consumed when offered to captive Spot-tailed Quolls (Murray 1998;
Belcher 2000b). Spot-tailed Quolls will consume baits on the surface and
will excavate and consume baits buried to at least 8 cm depth (Murray
1995, 1998; Belcher 2000b; Murray et al. 2000), but were less likely
to excavate baits buried 10 cm or deeper (Murray 1999; Belcher 2000b).
Although fox and dog baits are required to be buried to a minimum depth
of 8 cm, Murray (undated) indicated that at least some baits laid for
wild dogs in east Gippsland were buried ‘under a minimum’ of soil, which
Quolls could readily excavate (Murray 1998). Density of bait laying can
vary from baits being laid only tens of metres apart to hundreds of meters
apart or further (Ross Williamson NRE, pers. comm.). As Quolls
(particularly males) forage over very large areas, laying baits close
together increases the chance of an animal encountering and consuming
Are Spot-tailed Quolls at risk from current
poison baiting programs in Victoria? There is circumstantial evidence
of the loss of Spot-tailed Quolls coinciding with aerial baiting, hand
and mound baiting for wild dogs in New South Wales, and buried baiting
for foxes and baiting for rabbits in eastern Victoria (Belcher 2000b),
and that these programs can have a significant impact on local Quoll populations.
One large male Quoll captured in south-eastern NSW several days after
a nearby area was aerially baited for dogs displayed symptoms of 1080
poisoning. It died soon after, and although an autopsy detected no obvious
cause of death, subsequent tissue analysis found 1080 present (Belcher
2000b). Baits for wild dogs in NSW contain 6 mg of 1080 (Belcher 2000b),
a higher dose rate than that used in Victoria. Male quolls are more likely
to come into contact with poisoned baits than female quolls, because of
the much larger areas over which males roam. The sublethal effects of
1080 on native marsupials are not known, but may include impaired cell
function or organ damage (McIlroy 1981). Belcher (2000b) considered Spot-tailed
Quolls to be susceptible to secondary poisoning from consuming poisoned
rabbits killed using 1080 in rabbit control programs. However, an analysis
using existing data on 1080 bait susceptibility and Quoll food intake
by Fisher (2000), estimated a comparatively reduced risk of secondary
poisoning than did Belcher (2000b).
McIlroy (1999) indicated that there is no clear
answer to the question of susceptibility of Spot-tailed Quolls to 1080
poisoning. In several locations in NSW, Spot-tailed Quoll populations
have apparently persisted in areas subjected to aerial baiting for many
years. However, one population in southern NSW declined dramatically,
coinciding with 1080 baiting for wild dogs (Belcher 2000b). The impact
of baiting is still debated, especially when considering the benefits
to Quolls from the reduction in fox and dog numbers versus the risk to
Quolls being killed by poison baits. However, because of the limited reproductive
ability of Spot-tailed Quolls, even the loss of a few animals (especially
females) from poisoning is likely to be significant for small populations
(Murray 1998). To date, the sparse nature of Spot-tailed Quoll populations
in Victoria has made this type of information difficult to obtain.
Spot-tailed Quolls appear to prefer mature
forest (Belcher 2000b), unlogged forest or forest that is less disturbed
from timber harvesting than intensively harvested forest (Catling et
al. 1998, 2000). Clear-fell timber harvesting is thought to be a threat
to quolls as it removes some of the structural complexity that the species
requires, including the removal of hollow-bearing trees, fallen logs and
the reduction of canopy cover and structural complexity of the vegetation
(Belcher 2000b). It may also reduce populations of mammals that quolls
depend upon as prey, by removing shelter and foraging strata (Lindenmayer
1994), as well as the death of prey species. In selectively logged forest
(40-60% canopy cover retained after logging) in south-eastern NSW, Spot-tailed
Quolls avoided forest that had been recently logged, but used logged forest
that had grown sufficiently to provide ground cover and a dense overstorey,
particularly those areas with many logs left lying on the ground after
logging, providing abundant den sites (Belcher 2000b). The impact of logging
seems to be related to the intensity of logging, the amount of unlogged
forest remaining, and the amount of logs left on the ground (Belcher 2000b).
Catling et al. (2000) found that populations of ground-dwelling
mammals (including Spot-tailed Quolls) were more diverse and in greater
abundance in north-eastern NSW forests, which were more complex and less
disturbed from logging activities, than in south-eastern NSW forests,
which were more intensively logged. Logging and forest management activities
may also increase accessibility of the forest by foxes. Severe disturbance
in logged forest in south-eastern NSW appeared to play some part in the
distribution and abundance of foxes and the demise of medium-sized ground-dwelling
mammals there (Catling & Burt 1995), while foxes were absent or far
less abundant in less disturbed forest (Catling et al. 2000).
The impact of predation and competition from
dogs, foxes and cats on the Spot-tailed Quoll is not known. Juvenile and
female Quolls are at risk from predation by dogs and foxes. The diet of
foxes, feral cats and wild dogs was found to overlap with Spot-tailed
Quolls, indicating that competition for food resources may be occurring
(Belcher 1995). In Western Australia, under project ‘Western Shield’ where
foxes are controlled across large areas of the landscape (rather than
small specific locations), populations of Western Quoll have improved
significantly (Morris 1992). This information, coupled with the status
of the Spot-tailed Quoll and Eastern Quoll in Tasmania, which is currently
free of foxes, suggests that foxes could be a major factor in the decline
of Spot-tailed Quolls in Victoria.
Clearing and Fragmentation
The impact of ongoing habitat clearing and
fragmentation on Spot-tailed Quolls is not known. Historically, substantial
areas of likely former habitat have been cleared, contributing to the
species’ decline (Mansergh 1984). In recent decades, Spot-tailed Quolls
apparently deserted sites that were cleared for plantations in the Otway
Ranges (Belcher 2000b). Permanent loss and fragmentation of habitat is
now likely to be an issue only on private land, where potentially suitable
habitat may still exist in some regions, such as south-western Victoria
and eastern Victoria, especially where potential habitat is adjacent to
forested public land. Government policy restricting the clearing of native
vegetation has been in operation for some time, and the shift to a ‘No
Net Loss’ and ultimately a ‘Net Gain’ of native vegetation for Victoria
(NRE 1997) is a useful tool for protecting potential habitat on private
The Spot-tailed Quoll has been the subject
of concern for some time, and a range of conservation initiatives has
been instigated. A brief summary follows:
- A national threat assessment was undertaken
and a conservation program prepared in the Action Plan for Australian
Marsupials and Monotremes (Maxwell et al. 1996).
- NRE has commissioned and supported research
on Spot-tailed Quoll in Victoria and New South Wales, and a number of
reports on its conservation and management have been produced (see References).
- A "Southeast Forests Spotted-tailed
Quoll Working Group", comprising representatives from forest and
wildlife agencies in New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory and
Victoria, has been formed to coordinate conservation activities for
the species in East Gippsland, southern NSW and the ACT.
- Records of Spot-tailed Quolls in State Forest
are protected where existing reserves are not adequate. In East Gippsland,
Midlands Forest Management Areas and the Central Highlands Regional
Forest Agreement (RFA) region, the species is protected by establishing
a 500 ha Special Protection Zone (SPZ). In the North East, Gippsland
and West Victoria RFA regions protection measures comprise a 500 ha
SPZ and an adjacent Special Management Zone (SMZ). Within the SMZ (which
is approximately 1000 ha) an additional 500 ha is maintained as suitable
habitat for the species, so that approximately 1000 ha of suitable habitat
is protected for each record.
- Systematic surveys for Spot-tailed Quolls
in the Otway Ranges during the development of the West Victoria RFA,
and surveys in north-eastern Victoria, south-western Victoria and the
Strezlecki Ranges have been undertaken or are underway.
- The Threatened Species Network has had a
major focus on the Spot-tailed Quoll in Victoria. It has held information
and training days, and organised and supported community group surveys
for the species in the Otway Ranges, Macedon Ranges, central Gippsland
and south-western Victoria.
- NRE has established a strategic fox control
research initiative that includes ‘Project Deliverance’ (Murray 1999),
an experimental fox control program in East Gippsland designed to determine
the response of native mammals to fox control. A project to determine
the risk of fox baiting to Spot-tailed Quolls will also be undertaken
as part of this initiative.
- Instigation of a project to develop strategies
for flora and fauna conservation in forest management planning at the
landscape level, to ensure adequate suitable habitat is available for
forest-dependent species including the Spot-tailed Quoll.
- NRE has conducted a review of its Wild Dog
Despite these and other measures being initiated,
their effectiveness in achieving Spot-tailed Quoll conservation in Victoria
is not known. Indeed, Belcher (2000b) states that ‘the Tiger Quoll will
become extinct in Victoria…in the short to medium term, if current management
There is considerable community expectation
that a successful conservation program will be developed for the Spot-tailed
Quoll. The suspected current major threats including competition and predation
from wild dogs and foxes, poison baiting programs for pest animals and
timber harvesting are largely within the ambit and responsibility of NRE
to control and manage. It is within this framework that a conservation
program for the Spot-tailed Quoll needs to be developed.
There are three key issues to address in the
short-term for conservation of the Spot-tailed Quoll:
- Habitat Protection - to develop a system
of managed public land areas within the total forest estate (parks and
reserves, state forest) within which Spot-tailed Quoll habitat is provided
and threats are controlled.
- Threat Control - to determine the risk of
pest animals and pest animal baiting programs to Spot-tailed Quolls
and, if required, to refine baiting techniques to effectively control
dogs and foxes while eliminating the danger to Spot-tailed Quolls.
- Survey and Monitoring - to develop a program
of monitoring and measuring Spot-tailed Quoll distribution, abundance
and population trends. This is essential to determine the reaction of
the species to the conservation measures proposed in this Action Statement.
To achieve a viable metapopulation of Spot-tailed
Quoll in Victoria, comprising at least three discrete geographical sub-populations
(eastern Victoria, Otway Ranges, south-western Victoria).
of this Action Statement
- To establish and monitor two areas in Victoria
(a location in eastern Victoria and in the Otway Ranges) where land
management prescriptions and practices are supportive of Spot-tailed
Quoll conservation, and threats are controlled.
- To determine whether pest animals and pest
animal baiting programs are threats to Spot-tailed Quoll conservation,
and, if so, to implement measures to reduce the risk to Quolls.
- Identification and Protection
1.1 Develop a predictive model of Spot-tailed
Quoll habitat in Victoria, using information from studies in Victoria
and elsewhere. Using a landscape approach, apply the predictive model
to identify two habitat areas (in eastern Victoria and the Otway Ranges)
within which Spot-tailed Quoll habitat is protected or provided and
threats are controlled. These sites will form the basis of experimental
studies to determine how Quolls respond to these conservation initiatives.
Progressively apply the predictive habitat model across Victoria to
identify a system of managed public land (parks, reserves, State forest)
for Spot-tailed Quoll conservation, commencing with the existing reserve
system. As part of this process, investigate the scope for an overlap
with habitat protection for forest owls including Sooty Owl and Powerful
1.2 Until the predictive habitat-based
model for Spot-tailed Quoll is developed and applied, in State forest
establish 500 ha SPZ for all new confirmed records. A further 1000 ha
will be maintained within a SMZ contiguous with the SPZ, of which 500
ha is maintained as suitable prey habitat at any point in time. Zoning
may cover the site of the record (eg. den site, latrine site, feeding
habitat), and nearby reserve areas may contribute or replace these zones
where habitat is considered adequate. Quoll habitat requirements will
be incorporated in SMZ management. The Spot-tailed Quoll conservation
strategies established in existing forest management plans will be considered
for inclusion in the development of the system of managed public land.
1.3 Facilitate the protection of potential
Spot-tailed Quoll habitat on private land within existing mechanisms
for protection of native vegetation (eg. zoning under local government
planning schemes, development of Regional Management Plans by Catchment
Management Authorities, voluntary conservation agreements - eg Land
for Wildlife, Conservation Covenants).
- Assessment of the Risk
from Poison Baiting Programs
2.1 Determine the risk of 1080 ground
baiting programs for canids to Spot-tailed Quolls. This project, to
be based in the Tingaringy district in East Gippsland, will also provide
information on home range use by quolls.
2.2 Further investigate risks to Spot-tailed
Quolls from secondary poisoning in rabbit control programs.
2.3 Develop a Victorian Pest Animal Management
Strategy that incorporates biodiversity conservation principles, including
electronic database for recording and mapping bait stations and bait
nights and other information on database to improve management of dog
and fox control programs.
2.4 Undertake palatability studies of
meat baits to wild dogs, including using dried meat baits that are apparently
less palatable to Spot-tailed Quoll, and trials on bait depth and target
2.5 Trial a mechanical calibrated injector
system to test for improved quality control and 1080 dose rates in baits
for wild dog control.
2.6 Liaise with researchers on dog and
fox baiting developments and refine baiting techniques to reduce risk
to Spot-tailed Quoll as new information becomes available.
2.7 Hold information sessions and training
days for NRE staff involved in wild dog and fox control, for use of
revised baiting in and around Spot-tailed Quoll zones.
- Control of Predators/Competitors
3.1 Determine the risk of introduced predators
(especially the Red Fox) to Spot-tailed Quolls, as part of the ‘Introduced
3.2 Once the outcomes of Actions 2.1 and
3.1 are known, develop and implement revised dog and fox baiting guidelines
in areas likely to be frequented by Spot-tailed Quolls.
3.3 Incorporate the outcomes of ‘Project
Deliverance’ in the Spot-tailed Quoll conservation program.
- Survey and Monitoring
4.1 Develop population estimation, survey
and monitoring techniques for Spot-tailed Quolls and implement a regular
monitoring program at the two selected experimental sites.
4.2 Undertake surveys for Spot-tailed
Quolls in north-eastern Victoria as part of the NE FMP.
4.3 Investigate the presence of Spot-tailed
Quolls in South Gippsland.
4.4 Facilitate community participation
in surveys for Spot-tailed Quoll in the Otways, Macedon Ranges, south-western
and north-eastern Victoria.
4.5 Encourage the reporting of all Spot-tailed
Quoll records from NRE/PV staff and the public, properly document and
verify each record and include in the Wildlife Atlas.
- Biology and Ecology
5.1 Continue to collect biological and
ecological data on Spot-tailed Quoll as opportunities arise, to help
build up information on the species for more effective conservation
- Community Participation
6.1 Provide information on Spot-tailed
Quoll conservation, threat control and habitat management to landowners
with potential Spot-tailed Quoll habitat.
6.2 Provide information on Spot-tailed
Quoll to the general public.
- Project Management
7.1 Establish a Spot-tailed Quoll recovery
program, managed by NRE, to initiate and coordinate actions under
this Action Statement, including appointment of a project manager
to be responsible for the program.
7.2 Maintain liaison with interstate
programs and Spot-tailed Quoll researchers (including Tasmania), including
participation in the Southeast Forests Spotted-tailed Quoll Working
Group, and initiate a joint (Vic NSW Qld Tas) national recovery program
for the south-east mainland taxon of Spot-tailed Quoll.
ANZECC 2000. List of Threatened Australian
Fauna. Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council,
Belcher, C.L. 1995. Diet of the Tiger Quoll
(Dasyurus maculatus) in East Gippsland, Victoria. Wildlife
Research 22: 341-57.
Belcher, C.L. 1997. Targeted Assessments
of Key Threatened Vertebrate Fauna in Relation to the North East and
Benalla-Mansfield Forest Management Areas, Victoria: Spot-tailed (or
Tiger) Quoll (Dasyurus maculatus). Report to NRE.
Belcher, C.L. 1998. Susceptibility of the
Tiger Quoll (Dasyurus maculatus) and the Eastern Quoll (Dasyurus
viverrinus) to 1080-poisoned baits in control programs for vertebrate
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ARI Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental
CAS Catchment and Agricultural Services, NRE
CAW Catchment and Water Division, NRE
CFTT Centre for Forest Tree Technology, NRE
FS Forest Service, NRE
NRE Department of Natural Resources and Environment
PFF Parks Flora and Fauna Division, NRE
TSN Threatened Species Network
VIAS Victorian Institute of Animal Science, NRE
Parks Flora and Fauna Division, NRE June