Wildlife Research Wildlife Research Society
Ecology, management and conservation in natural and modified habitats

The contribution of the community to defining the distribution of a vulnerable species, the spotted-tailed quoll, Dasyurus maculatus

Daniel Lunney and Alison Matthews

Wildlife Research 28(5) 537 - 545
Published: 30 November 2001


Community-based wildlife postal surveys, which included the spotted-tailed quoll, were undertaken in Eden, Port Stephens, Bellingen and Iluka. This resulted in 68 records for spotted-tailed quolls for Eden, 40 for Port Stephens, 39 for Bellingen and 7 for Iluka. Such a high number of records from coastal New South Wales, with many on private lands, identifies postal surveys as a major source of previously overlooked sightings. Spotted-tailed quolls have declined in range by as much as 50–90% since European settlement, which has seen them listed as a nationally vulnerable species. There have been few surveys of spotted-tailed quolls in New South Wales due to their difficulty of detection using standard field survey techniques, such as cage trapping and hair tube sampling. Their unique appearance makes them an ideal species to include in community-based surveys. Future use of these surveys has the potential to contribute significantly to conservation programs of spotted-tailed quolls that involve private lands and local support.


© CSIRO 2001

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