North Queensland Naturalist 46 (2016): 99-106

Camera-trap surveys of the northern Spotted-tailed Quoll (Dasyurus maculatus gracilis) in the Cairns to Innisfail hinterland

Luke Jackson and Alberto Vale

 

 

Abstract

The northern subspecies of the Spotted-tailed Quoll, Dasyurus maculatus gracilis, is confined to rainforests and adjacent habitats in Queensland’s Wet Tropics, where it was estimated to number 540 individuals and to be in on-going decline. Using motion-sensor cameras equipped with a flash and set at chicken baits, we surveyed eight rainforest areas from which the subspecies has previously been recorded. Survey areas ranged from Barron Gorge National Park south to Mt Bartle Frere, with cameras set at elevations from 400 to 1,600 m ASL. A total of 740 camera days of effort yielded eleven images of the Spotted-tailed Quoll from four cameras in two areas – the Bellenden Ker Range and Mt Bartle Frere. From these, five individuals are identifiable on the basis of spot patterns. Given the proven record of this technique in detecting the species, our failure to detect quolls at two other high-elevation areas is cause for concern. Twenty-one other species, including the Endangered Southern Cassowary (Casuarius casuarius johnsonii), were also detected in camera images.