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Rare Polka-Dotted Baby Bonanza Excites Researchers!



Quick Smiles:

  • Ecologists discover baby western quolls at Mt Gibson Wildlife Sanctuary in Australia.
  • These rare marsupials play a key role in controlling populations of small invertebrates.
  • Successful breeding indicates that reintroduction efforts are working.

During a routine survey at Mt Gibson Wildlife Sanctuary in Australia, ecologists stumbled upon an exciting discovery. They noticed a group of female western quolls with something wriggling in their pouches – the sanctuary’s very first baby western quolls had arrived!

Western quolls are fuzzy marsupial mammals, about the size of a domestic cat. They play a crucial role in controlling populations of small invertebrates, including certain reptiles and birds. Once widespread across the Australian mainland, their numbers have dramatically decreased following European settlement. Nowadays, apart from reintroductions, they are only found in the south-western corner of Western Australia, and even there, their distribution is patchy.

The Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) has been working to reintroduce western quoll populations to Mt Gibson Wildlife Sanctuary, where they were previously extinct. The discovery of baby quolls is a positive indication that the reintroduction efforts are successful.

“Through regular monitoring, we can see the quolls are doing well at the sanctuary, and encountering the first pouch young is a positive sign that they have adjusted to the new environment,” said AWC senior field ecologist Georgina Anderson in a press release.

Recently, animal advocates transported a group of quolls cross-country to support their wider thriving. Their efforts appear to be paying off.

“We are thrilled to see that Mt Gibson’s Western Quoll population has settled in,” Anderson said in the press release. “[They’re] showing promising signs of successful breeding.”