Eastern Quolls Return To Australia After Being Extinct For 60 Years

Eastern quolls are again roaming Australia’s mainland thanks to conservationists’ diligent efforts.

According to a press release from Aussie Ark, the conservation organization responsible for their comeback, eastern quolls were extinct for some 60 years after feral animals, poisoning, trapping, and land clearing decimated their numbers.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Since the 1960s, the species remained alive on the island of Tasmania but was no longer found on Australia’s mainland.

Eastern quolls are an essential part of Australia’s landscape, being a native carnivorous marsupial. Unfortunately, they couldn’t withstand the effects of non-native species and human interaction.

Conservationists with Aussie Ark wanted to bring the species back to Australia’s mainland and their work has been a huge success! Just this mating season alone, they found 63 babies that were born in the wild.

Photo: YouTube/Aussie Ark

The animals were released and bred in Aussie Ark’s Barrington Wildlife Sanctuary, 400-hectares of open forests and grasslands. Aussie Ark maintains the land by removing noxious weeds, banning feral predators (like cats and foxes) and introducing long-lost native species, like the eastern quoll.

In an Aussie Ark press release, supervisor Tyler Gralton said: “This is what our work is all about, this is the ultimate reward for all the years of care. To open pouch after pouch and see so many joeys is a sight I’ll never forget.”

Photo: YouTube/Aussie Ark

Eastern quolls breed in early winter and have a gestation period of just 21 days. Just like kangaroos, the females can raise up to six young, called Joeys. Around the end of November, the young quolls are weaned and become independent (being 18-20 weeks of age).

Gralton added, “This just goes to show that once you can get these animals back to where they belong in this 400 hectares of feral-free sanctuary, they can do all this hard work on their own.”

Check out the video below to learn more:

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