Monday, 1 September 2008

Keep a sharp eye out for this critter

Keep a sharp eye for this critter
29/05/2008 9:47:00 AM
Residents in the North Macksville area have been urged to keep their eyes out for a carnivorous visitor, in the shape of the endangered spotted-tailed quoll.
A resident was recently alarmed by shrieks from his chook pen and found an unwanted visitor – Australia’s largest remaining carnivorous marsupial.
The spotted-tailed quoll was captured and released into the wild by residents, who were intrigued to see the rare species in land that has been identified as the favoured site of the Macksville bypass through North Macksville and Old Coast Road.
World Wildlife Fund spokesperson Samantha Vine said the spotted-tailed quoll had become vulnerable due to land clearing (the spotted-tailed quoll ranged in a home habitat of up to 500 hectares), introduced competitors and 1080 baits.
She urged residents who saw the rare nocturnal creatures to call WWF to report them, and treat them gently.
“Unfortunately, quolls have a great love of chickens and can track the smell of them for 6km,” she said.
“In the past they have been killed by people who have found them in with their chooks, but we ask that they be released back into the wild, because they are protected.”
Once a spotted-tailed quoll had found a chook pen, Ms Vine said it was likely they would continue to visit it.
She urged people who had problems with chook attacks to contact WWF to get guidelines on how to ‘quoll-proof’ their property.

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