The Conservation Ecology Center, located just outside Apollo Bay in Australia, has successfully bred four rare Tiger Quolls. The gorgeous spotted joeys are now three months old and fit into the palm of your hand.
Lizzie Corke, CEO of the Conservation Ecology Centre, says raising this many joeys in a first breeding season is unusual but the joeys are all healthy and their mother is caring for them beautifully. "They are growing fast and keeping snug and warm in the den," she says.
The joeys will help inform researchers about Tiger Quoll behaviour and assist with the conservation of these endangered animals. "These little quolls are helping to conserve their species" says Conservation Coordinator Dr Jack Pascoe.
Tiger Quolls are the largest remaining marsupial predators on the Australian mainland but their numbers are in serious decline. "By learning more about their behaviour we can improve detection techniques, which will play a vital role in the conservation of wild Tiger Quolls and the ecosystems they depend upon," Dr Pascoe says.
Dr Pascoe says a captive breeding population is an important insurance policy for endangered species and, in time, these joeys will contribute to the long-term health of the captive population.
Wild Tiger Quolls were thought to have died out in the Otways for nearly 10 years until the recent discovery of scat (droppings) near Lorne and Cape Otway, which Ms Corke says has been an exciting and encouraging development.
The Conservation Ecology Centre is working on a number of projects to safeguard the future of Tiger Quolls, including training a team of community volunteers and their dogs to detect Tiger Quoll scats. Habitat restoration and fox reduction projects are also key activities of the program.
Tiger Quoll conservation expedition programs are open to the public and run regularly. Click for more information about Greenloons conservation vacation getaways to Otways.