Quoll, butterfly, owl projects get Queensland government grants for threatened species

SPOTTED: A grant has been awarded to help monitor south-east Queensland quoll populations. Photo: Sharon Wormleaton
SPOTTED: A grant has been awarded to help monitor south-east Queensland quoll populations. Photo: Sharon Wormleaton

THE state government has put $1.4 million into protection for threatened species, including $60,000 to restore unused Tamborine Mountain farmland to rainforest.

Tamborine Mountain Landcare Inc. will use the funds to work on about 10 hectares of abandoned agricultural land, transforming it back into native sub-tropical rainforest containing significant numbers of an Australian vine that provides food for the Richmond Birdwing butterfly.

Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said this funding was part of the Queensland Government's $18 million Community Sustainability Action Grants Program.

"Under this round that specifically targets projects that protect threatened species, 29 successful recipients are receiving up to $100,000 for their local conservation projects," she said.

"This is the first time, since the Community Sustainability Action Grants Program began in 2016, that there has been a specific threatened species category.

"This funding will fund on-the-ground projects that help restore important habitat and conduct important research into some of Queensland's most vulnerable flora and fauna."

A quoll society has received nearly $15,000 to undertake camera trapping to survey more than 20 national parks, state forests, council conservation areas and private properties to research the current distribution of the spotted-tailed quoll.

For nearly 15 years, wildlife organisations have been searching for the species throughout Logan and the Scenic Rim hoping to better understand the quoll population in the south-east Queensland.

Acoustic monitors will also be deployed across the south-east to help determine the location of powerful owls, thanks to a $99,558 grant awarded to BirdLife Southern Queensland.

Project officer Robert Clemens said powerful owls have a slow, double-note call that was soft, but very strong and resonant and could be heard more than one kilometre away.

"The easiest way to be sure that there are owls in your area is to listen for their distinctive calls, particularly just after dusk or in the wee hours of the morning," Dr Clemens said.

"When we started in 2018 we expected to find 25 to 30 Powerful owl pairs in south east Queensland, but we now suspect there may be more than 150."

The grants program is providing $18 million over six years to community groups and individuals for innovative projects to address climate change, protect our unique wildlife and conserve Queensland's natural and built environment.

This story Tamborine rainforest project gets grant first appeared on Beaudesert Times.