Serendip provides a sanctuary for threatened species
Friday 6 September, 2013
Parks Victoria staff at Serendip Sanctuary are preparing to celebrate National Threatened Species Day on 7 September, following the news that their latest residents – a breeding pair of the critically endangered Spot-tailed or Tiger Quolls – have become parents.
Serendip sanctuary Ranger Matt Wills says the male and female pair came from Halls Gap Zoo.
“The addition of a pair of Tiger Quolls is a first for Serendip Sanctuary, so we’re absolutely delighted that our female has pouch young. We expect to see the baby quolls peeping out of the pouch in the coming weeks.”
Mr Wills says the lovely little pair has been pretty shy so far, but are slowly becoming more adventerous.
“This is one of the few breeding pairs of Tiger Quolls in Victoria, so it’s very exciting that our Tiger Quoll numbers have already increased. They breed once a year, and we expect that the female has between 4-6 pouch young; we’re looking forward to seeing them in the coming weeks.”
Mr Wills says Tiger Quolls are the mainland’s largest marsupial carnivore, and were once found in a wide variety of forest habitats across south-eastern Australia. They are now mainly in far East Gippsland and in isolated areas of the Otways. Quolls are generally solitary animals and range over very large areas, as much as 500 hectares. Being nocturnal meat eaters they mainly feed at night on rabbits, possums, rabbits, birds, gliders and reptiles. They breed during the winter and, being good climbers, shelter in hollow logs and old hollow trees.
The Sanctuary is home to a wide variety of endangered creatures, and plays an important role in preserving threatened species of birds and animals.
Mr Wills says other endangered species at Serendip Sanctuary include the Eastern Barred Bandicoot which is gradually being reintroduced to places like Werribee Regional Park and Woodlands Historic Park.
“The Sanctuary also has a Captive Breeding Program for Brolgas that’s been running for over forty years.
Mr Wills says the Sanctuary’s newest captive breeding program for the Freckled Duck has been extremely successful.
“A purpose built enclosure for the Freckled Ducks was completed in 2010. This species is the rarest waterfowl in the southern hemisphere, and as a result of a successful captive breeding program, we hope releases into the wild will be possible in the future.”
Matt Wills says the Sanctuary is a great place for people to see some of these endangered species.
“Many of these endangered creatures are located along our Wildlife Education Walk, so people can see and appreciate these special birds and animals. It’s an effective way to educate the public about the plight of these rare species, and our efforts to save them from extinction.”
“Just seeing our lovely Spotted Quolls in a naturalistic environment says a thousand words about how important it is to protect endangered species.”
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