Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Garbage droppings confirm tiger quoll encounter - via Chad Arment

Anthony Stewart
May 07, 2012

A late night encounter has resulted in the first confirmed sighting of a critically-endangered tiger quoll in over a decade.

The Otway Ranges in Victoria's south-west are a known habitat of the carnivorous marsupial, but for the past 10 years no-one has been able to confirm if the species was still alive in the wild.

Late last month Matt Morton heard a thud on the deck of his home in the region and went out to investigate.

"There was a ginger and white spotted animal that sort of looked like an oversized possum," he said.

"Then it slowly had walked up a couple of flights of stairs and as it got past the laundry it defecated in front of the laundry door.

"Luckily we picked it up with a doggy bag and then placed it in the bin and we ended up missing the bin collection on Monday morning. So we were very lucky to have the scats still in the bin."

The animal's faeces were collected and DNA testing has confirmed it was a tiger quoll.

Lizzie Corke, the founder of the Conservation Ecology Centre at Cape Otway, has been trying to establish whether there is a surviving population of the animals for the past 18 months.

"They are stunning animals, they're gingery-browny colour, covered in beautiful white spots right down their tails and across their bodies and they have the most divine little pink noses and very strong teeth," she said.

"Completely carnivorous, they are our largest remaining carnivorous marsupial on the Australian mainland.

"So they are very, very special and play a really important role in ecosystem."


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