Tiverton Eastern Quoll Release

Photos by Annette Ruzicka & Pete James

On Thursday 28 July the Odonata team led a historic event at Tiverton Farm in which we released 8 Eastern Quolls into the sanctuary to join the now thriving 2-year-old population of Eastern Barred Bandicoots.

The event was run in partnership with Mulligans Flat, Tiverton Rothwell Partners and importantly the Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation. The Eastern Quoll holds deep importance to the Eastern Maar People as one of their totem animals and their involvement in the reintroduction of this species was integral. Beyond playing a key role in this event, Odonata is working with the Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation closely to ensure that we have their support with our ongoing endeavours at Tiverton, and in return we are supporting their ongoing work and projects.

Bringing together a group of 70 of Odonata’s extended team, our key partners, friends and supporters, this event was a milestone that we have been building towards since Odonata’s conception in 2017. At 1000 hectares, Tiverton will eventually have capacity for well beyond these 8 quolls and will significantly boost the mainland’s small yet self-sustaining population of Eastern Quolls.

This release marked the Eastern Quoll returning to western Victoria for the first time in nearly 60 years. Quolls were once so common that supposedly their predation of young rabbits prevented the eruption of rabbit populations in Victoria, at one point it was reported in the Warrnambool Standard that a bounty had been placed on quoll scalps, but one man caught so many that the bounty was discontinued (Peacock and Abbott 2013). Nevertheless, Eastern Quolls were declared extinct in Victoria in the 1950s. Considering the prolific nature of rabbits and foxes across Victoria and near non-existence of Eastern Quolls, this release is an opportunity for significant celebration, marking another noteworthy step in the regeneration of the Tiverton ecosystem.

Tiverton is Australia’s first fully integrated biodiversity, threatened species and Merino sheep-grazing operation. By focusing on strong biodiversity outcomes for the property, through the re-introduction of native species and proliferation of native grasses, the quality of the wool being produce is in turn enhanced, as is the return on investment for growers. The addition of Eastern Quolls to this ecosystem will aid significantly in the control of pests such as rabbits, rats, mice and an array of insects.