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Quokka (Setonix brachyurus) recovery after 16 years of 1080 baiting to control foxes

Dundas, S.J., Adams, P.J., Morris, K. and Fleming, P.A. (2010) Quokka (Setonix brachyurus) recovery after 16 years of 1080 baiting to control foxes. In: 23rd Australasian Wildlife Management Society Conference, 1 - 3 December, Torquay, Victoria.

Abstract

The quokka (Setonix brachyurus) is a 2.5 – 5kg macropod endemic to southwest Western Australia, where small mainland populations are restricted to dense riparian vegetation. The quokka is threatened by introduced predators (direct predation by foxes and possibly cats and habitat destruction by feral pigs). In WA, broad scale seasonal aerial 1080 baiting (Western Shield) is conducted to control foxes. Additionally, selected populations of quokkas are protected by more intensive monthly 1080 baiting. Previous research conducted in 1998-2000 by Hayward suggested quokkas in the northern jarrah forest were collapsing and demonstrated little response to 6 years of intensive 1080 baiting to control foxes. A decade later, the situation has changed. We have conducted subsequent trapping at Hayward’s sites following 16 years of baiting. In conjunction with trapping, we are monitoring feral predator presence (foxes, feral cats and feral pigs) with a range of non-invasive techniques including remote sensor cameras, PVC tubes for collection of hair for DNA analysis, track plates and bait stations. Preliminary results show viable quokka populations exist in areas where quokkas were believed to be going extinct. We will discuss our most recent quokka trapping results and outline the use of non-invasive techniques to detect feral predators and quokkas.

Publication Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/15391
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