Specially-trained detection dogs used to find quoll evidence in Logan's bushland in first time in more than 10 years

Amanda Hancock has been integral in the quoll project.

Amanda Hancock has been integral in the quoll project.

Specially-trained detection dogs have been used to find the first evidence an endangered quoll in Logan in more than 10 years.

Sparky, Lilly and Baxter have undertaken important work, helping to find evidence of the spotted-tail quoll in Logan's bush.

The last known sighting of a live quoll was in 2005, but Logan City Council said that some rural parts of the area had been known as the animal's habitat.

The dogs, trained in the detection of specific odours, were used to determine the presence of quolls in likely dens and evidence of their scat (faeces) in nearby bushland.

The dogs have led the research, which was funded by Logan City Council's Environmental Levy.

The native spotted-tailed quoll is a carnivorous marsupial listed as vulnerable under Queensland's Nature Conservation Act and endangered under the Federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

Cane toad poisons, introduced predators, landscape modifications and road deaths have populations under threat.

Once common in bushland, the most recent evidence of a quoll population was a dead animal beside a Greenbank road in 2007.

Council partnered with Wildlife Preservation Society Queensland (WPSQ), the Quoll Seekers Network, Carnarvon Canines and University of Sunshine Coast to establish the animals' existence in Logan.

Eight sites across Logan were selected as having potential habitat critical to quolls' foraging movement and denning preferences.

Quoll hide in caves, rock crevices, logs and tree hollows.

They are mostly nocturnal and can roam up to six kilometres from their den looking for food. They use faeces to mark their territory.

Three private properties at Undullah and Lyons were surveyed in 2019 and again this year with a property at Lyons returning a positive determination of quoll scat and odour.

But no quolls were spotted either during surveys or on wildlife monitoring cameras. It is also difficult to determine how old the scat and odour may have been.

Sites at Wolffdene and Park Ridge South returned no strong evidence of quolls during surveys undertaken in last year.

City Planning, Economic Development and Environment chair Jon Raven said it was another example of council and the community working together to protect our environment.

"Last year we used DNA to confirm the presence of platypus in the Albert River," Cr Raven said.

Declining: Spotted-tail quolls were once common in our bushland.

Declining: Spotted-tail quolls were once common in our bushland.

"Now these very talented dogs have assisted our wildlife experts to find strong indicators that spotted-tail quoll may still be existing in Logan.

"This is amazing news and demonstrates the great work council and the community are doing to help protect and improve our wildlife, not just for quolls, but all our native species."

WPSQ Projects Manager Matt Cecil said the two detection dog handlers participated in the research over the past year.

They were Carnarvon Canine's Amanda Hancock with dogs Sparky and Lily and the University of Sunshine Coast's Russell Miller and his dog Baxter.

"Logan City Council has been on board with the project from the start," Mr Cecil said.

"They have helped with funding opportunities and land access and trying to get spotted-tail quoll conservation into the minds of the Logan community."

Community engagement will now be done to increase awareness of the quoll's existence and provide tips on how landowners can aid in the conservation of this threatened species.

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