Victoria’s version of the Tasmanian Tiger is heading down the same extinction path as its relative was 80 years ago when the last Tasmanian Tiger died in the Hobart Zoo.
“Eighty years ago we can accept that ignorance was the reason for the extinction of this amazing marsupial ‘dog’. In 2016 there is no excuse”, said Jill Redwood of Environment East Gippsland. “Are we set to farewell another fascinating marsupial carnivore from our ecosystem, without so much as a passing glance?”
The Spot-tailed Quoll (Dasyurus maculatus) continues to decline in both range and abundance in the remaining few areas where it still exists in Victoria.
“In 2000, research showed that unless the current land management practices change the last surviving quoll populations in Victoria will become extinct (Belcher 2000). In 2016 this prediction is close to being realised”.
“Victorian authorities know that if urgent action is not taken, the last of the three quoll species Victoria once had will also be extinct”, said Ms Redwood. “However the records of these animals that should be clearly detailed on the Victorian Biodiversity Atlas (VBA) have not been mapped for the last 20 years. This is an appalling failure.
“The state relies on the VBA maps to justify development, roads, logging and other environmental disturbances. If the records conveniently aren’t there, there’s no obligation to protect the habitat.”
“The Andrews Government must urgently address two things: the current weak laws for native species under the FFGA and the urgent need to update information that could protect the last pockets of endangered wildlife.
“The quoll is just one species of hundreds in Victoria that could be on the precipice of the extinction abyss. The Environment Department is effectively operating while blindfolded.