Save the Walsh River
Natural Arch














The Endangered Northern Quoll....

Northern Quoll The Northern Quoll, Dasyurus hallucatus are classified as Endangered by the Commonwealth Environment and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 due to the massive population declines that they have suffered over the past 200 years.
In Queensland, the northern Atherton Tablelands, including the upper Walsh River area, are one of only a handful of sites at which this endangered species is still common.

The reason for the endangered status of quolls is due to the devastating impacts by Cane Toads, and because they only live for one year, it means that a single failed breeding season due to disturbance or degradation of habitat (such as mining) can send a local population extinct.
Quoll populations are very susceptible to local extinction due to habitat degradation, or increased accidental or deliberate killing. This is in large part due to their opportunistic behaviour which brings them into contact with dangerous human environments (e.g. roads, chook pens etc).


Scott Burnett, a university professor, has studied the Northern Quoll for many years and has conducted studies within the proposed mining lease area. He is confident that a widespread search would find quolls throughout the lease area and that the proposed mine development could be a disaster for the local quolls populations, depending on the intensity of the mining activity.
During the late dry breeding season access to standing water within the Toy Creek (and other channels) is absolutely critical for successful rearing of young quolls. Loss of this water or contamination would be potentially devastating. During the breeding season, in particular, females drink regularly and will travel considerable distances if they have to (perhaps up to 0.5 – 1km) to access standing water.
Finally, any removal or disturbance to vegetation including ground cover and tree cover, or of rocks and boulders (used for foraging and denning), is likely to have a considerable impact on the quolls residing within the lease area. An open cut mine on the site has the potential to gut the quoll population. Quolls are territorial, therefore displacement = death, as all territories are likely already occupied, so displaced animals have nowhere to live.

However it is difficult to predict what this would mean to the wider quoll meta-population without detailed studies of dispersal, population size and extent and genetic ecology of the quolls in this area.

To be continued....


Website by Crystal Stone 2012