Environment Club – Checking Cameras for spotted-tailed quolls with the National Parks and Wildlife Service

Last week three members fo the Environment Club joined the National Parks and Wildlife Service team to learn more about the spotted-tailed quoll and how the NPWS monitors their population via cameras in the Park. SMGS Environment Club member Jasmine Zollinger provides a re-cap of the day below:

On Friday, 14 May, Jasmine, April and Kai from the SMGS environmental committee volunteered with the National Parks and Wildlife Service to help check their cameras for any spotted-tailed quolls. Rebecca Mooy and Cat Campbell took us, and we travelled into the Park and grabbed chicken necks, dog mince and a hammer and ventured up a hill for about 250 metres.

It was hard to find the cameras at first, but we managed to find them in the end. They look like hunting cameras on a pole facing a fallen tree with a white pipe underneath. The pipe was full of two-month-old meat. The cameras face the fallen tree to give the quolls some height so the cameras can properly identify which quoll it is. Cat taught us how to use the GPS to locate the cameras. She also gave us a demonstration on how to get rid of the two-month-old meat from inside the tube. Once the meat was removed, Kai put chicken necks and dog mince in the tube.

Rebecca taught April and Jasmine how to use the camera and look through the photos to see if we were successful and three out of five of the cameras had captured quolls. Quolls can be identified by their spots. We spotted Cat’s favourite quoll, which has an all-white back instead of many spots which makes him really easy to identify.

We finished fixing the cameras and sat by the Snowy River to eat lunch and spoke to another team working with the quolls. We got back into the ute and headed home to the NPWS building. It was a unique experience and we all enjoyed every little detail, even the rotten meat smells. Thank you so much to Rebecca and Cat for giving us this opportunity.

Spotted-tailed quoll (Dasyurus maculatus)

Long-nosed bandicoot (Peremeles nasuta) this one is really exciting as they are quite rare in the Snowy’s, I have never seen one on camera!