Dog teams train for quoll search

Dog detection teams are in training in an effort to support Tiger Quoll research, as conservation efforts ramp up following the rediscovery of the endangered species in the Otways last year.

A Tiger Quoll and her joeys in Cape Otway.  Photo: ALI CORKE
A Tiger Quoll and her joeys in Cape Otway. Photo: ALI CORKE

The Conservation Ecology Centre (CEC) is working in conjunction with South-West Victorian Dogs and community volunteers to train dogs to search for and detect Tiger Quoll scats.

DNA tests undertaken on faeces collected from an animal sighted near Lorne confirmed it was a Tiger Quoll (Dasyrus maculatus),  followed by another reported sighting in the Cape Otway area.

CEC Conservation Coordinator Dr Jack Pascoe said there are currently 10 dog teams in training.

“The Otway’s Conservation Dog Team has the potential to discover much more about the ecology of the Otway’s quoll population including their distribution, genetic diversity and relatedness.”

“We hope early this year the dogs will be able to positively identify Tiger Quoll scats from a lineup of samples.

“Later in the year we hope to have most of the dog teams fully trained for deployment for field surveys.”

South West Victorian Dogs Program Developer Luke Edwards said the program involves teaching the dogs to identify the Tiger Quoll scats through a reward system.

Dr Pascoe said increased information on the quoll population would assist in the development and application of effective and practical conservation solutions.

In another boost to conservation efforts, the CEC has purchased 21 acres of land for the creation of a habitat corridor for local wildlife.

The property, which will link to the Great Otway National Park, will provide a safe haven for Tiger Quolls, koalas, and other species and is hoped to become a model for future habitat restoration.

For further information or to become a volunteer contact CEC on 5237 9297.

This story featured in the the Surf Coast Times Green the Coast Column.

One of the four quoll joeys born at CEC last year. Photo: ALI CORKE
One of the four quoll joeys born at CEC last year. Photo: ALI CORKE

Want to find out more about the work of  the CEC in Cape Otway?

Visit the CEC website where you can find out more about the Tiger Quoll Conservation Program and other conservation programs underway.

Want to get involved in other volunteering opportunities along the coast?

Visit the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee volunteer page here.

Related blog post/s:

sitting-tiger-quoll-lucia-griggi-300x200Endangered Tiger Quoll rediscovered near Lorne

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