A new population of the endangered northern quoll has been discovered on a Kimberley island in the Talbot Bay area.
Announcing the discovery on World Environment Day, Environment Minister Albert Jacob said the endangered marsupials were found on Molema Island in the proposed Horizontal Falls National Park.
“Northern quoll populations have declined sharply across most of their former range in northern Australia and islands such as Molema can provide refuge against mainland threats,” Mr Jacob said.
“This discovery was made during a six day survey late last year and highlights the importance of continuing research into Western Australia’s biodiversity and its conservation.
“This is exactly what the State Government’s $81.5million Kimberley Science and Conservation Strategy is all about. The strategy is a bold vision for the Kimberley’s long-term conservation and will provide unprecedented protection for the region’s unique plants and animals, as well as creating tourism opportunities, and jobs for Aboriginal communities.”
While populations of northern quoll were known from 11 other Kimberley islands, Molema Island had not previously been surveyed because it was difficult to access. The survey team used a boat to access and place surveillance cameras on Molema Island and several other smaller islands nearby. Tracks and droppings of northern quolls were also found on two islands south-east of Koolan Island, which already has a known population of northern quolls.
“I congratulate all those in the survey team who made the discovery, including scientists from the Department of Parks and Wildlife, Dambimangari rangers representing the Worrarra traditional owners and volunteers from Monash University,” the Minister said.
“This discovery confirms the importance of reserving the area as marine and national parks, with the immense natural values of the internationally renowned Horizontal Falls still being discovered.”
Proposed Horizontal Falls National Park will cover around 160km2 and the proposed marine park will cover almost 3,000km2 of State waters
A Quoll’s diet includes other small mammal species, so more than 100 droppings were collected to identify other species that may be on the islands
Survey was funded by Mt Gibson Iron Ore offsets
Minister’s office - 6552 5800