Conservation partnerships pay off for Qld council

Logan City Council says its landowner conservation partnerships are paying off with the existence of a rare spotted-tail quoll confirmed in the city’s west.

Jon Raven

Council’s Environmental Conservation Partnerships (ECP) program, which has been running for 22 years, enables landowners in the LGA to enter into formal or informal conservation partnerships with Council.

The program had 290 members in 2018 is now supporting some 500 landholders to manage private land in an environmentally sustainable way.

ECPs include Voluntary Restoration Agreements, Voluntary Conservation Agreements and Voluntary Conservation Covenants for landowners as well as programs for residents and council staff .

The program was recently extended to include a citywide wildlife friendly backyard program.

Source: Logan City Council

Ten-year search for elusive quoll

The existence of the cat-sized carnivorous marsupial, after a ten year search, was confirmed when a council survey uncovered what appeared to be spotted-tail quoll droppings on a private property in Undallah.

The droppings, used by quolls to mark their territory, were sent to an independent lab for testing and the sample was confirmed as belonging to the quoll.

The spotted-tail quoll is listed as vulnerable under Queensland’s Nature Conservation Act.

The spotted-tailed quoll has ginger fur, white spots and a pouch. It’s mostly nocturnal and can roam up to six kilometres in search of food.

Council says it’s the second major environmental discovery in the region in recent years after DNA confirmed the existence of platypus in the upper reachers of the Albert River.

The last confirmed evidence of a quoll in the City of Logan was when one was found dead by the side to a road in 2005.

Hope for quoll selfies

Environment Chair Jon Raven says the latest discovery is exciting news for the City of Logan and showed Council’s conservation efforts were paying off.

Council is working with property owners where the quoll droppings were found to improve then conservation value of the land and has installed cameras in other potential quoll habitats to try and get more evidence of the elusive marsupial.  

“Now that we know there are definitely quolls in City of Logan’s bushland areas, we want to try and get some images of them living the good life,” Cr Raven told Government News.

“It would be very convenient if we could just convince these rare marsupials to take a couple of selfies, but in 10 years of searching for them, we have come to understand quolls tend to be very camera shy.

“For that reason, Council will continue to work with local landowners and wildlife monitoring groups in the hope of getting photos through night vision cameras – or possibly even a snap taken by a member of the community now they know what to look out for.”

Return on environmental investment

In the last financial year Logan City distributed $170,000 worth of community EnviroGrants and $46,050 of grants to landholders via Voluntary Conservation Agreements and Voluntary Restoration Agreements.

Supporting landholders to manage their land for conservation pays off, a council spokesman told Government News.

Research has shown that for every $1 invested, landholders contribute $18 of value such as maintaining land, planting native trees and enhancing habitat, he said.

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