Work to bring cane-toad smart northern quolls
back to Kakadu s Mary River district will take a major step forward this week when quolls
are collected on Astell Island off the north-east Arnhem Land coast.
Male Northern quolls
live fast and die young in a romantic frenzy of long-distance travel.
This included the creation of the new 8,550 ha Payrrape Nature Refuge that protects high conservation value wetlands and sandstone escarpments around the Morehead River--critical habitat for threatened species such as ghost bats, Cape York rock wallabies and northern quolls
Visitors will have the opportunity to hand-feed Forester kangaroos, visit koalas and see native species such as devils, quolls
and wombats in the Bonorong Wildlife Park.
The scientists' solution - he claimed - is to feed the quolls
"cane toad sausages" that have the toads' poison replaced by a drug that makes them sick.
Two rare swift parrots, a yellow-tailed black cockatoo and five quolls
-- a carnivorous native cat -- were among the animals still on the loose in what was described as a devastating blow for the zoo s breeding programme.
Even the biggest species, quolls
and Tasmanian devils, live only three to four years.
Around 50,000 visitors a year come to see the wombats, wallabies, quolls
, sugar gliders, some 30 varieties of birdlife and the park's star attractions, the Tasmanian devils.
Researchers aren't necessarily dismissing the potential threat of cane toads, as they have had a negative impact on some insect populations and on the country's frog predators, including goannas (monitor lizards), freshwater crocodiles, king brown snakes, and northern quolls
, a cat-like marsupial.
There are four species of this small, carnivorous Australian marsupial across northern and southern Australia but it is the northern Quoll
--Dasyurus hallacatus--the smallest of the Quolls
that is now threatened by the increase in the cane toad population in northern Australia.
Marsupials include the kangaroo, the koala, the Tasmanian Devil, wallabies, bilbies, quolls
, and the opossum.
Everything from quolls
(small native marsupials) to snakes, lizards, water birds, dingos and even crocodiles have been found dead with cane toads in their stomachs.