Mt Rothwell currently holds the only wild, self-sustaining Eastern Quoll population on mainland Australia. Since 2002 hundreds of Eastern Quolls have been bred at Mt Rothwell for release into the reserve.
The knowledge and expertise we have acquired over a decade has ensured we have the most diverse, healthy and well-managed captive breeding program on the mainland. This program ensures entire litters survive to sub-adult stage. 90% of the offspring are released when independent from their parents. The remaining 10% are genetically selected to remain in captivity for just over a year before they are released with their offspring the following year.
Eastern Quolls are a carnivorous marsupial and play a critical role in our ecosystem. They help control pest animals and insects including rabbits, Portuguese millipede, cockchafers and corbie grubs. Breeding season is from May to June when a female has a 3-day window when she goes into oestrous. Once conception takes place the young are born 24 days later. A total of 30 young can be born, however only the first 6-8 young, which climb up into the pouch and attach to the teats, will survive. It is very much survival of the fittest.
The recently formed Eastern Quoll Mainland Recovery Team (EQMRT) includes key stakeholders who are currently breeding Eastern Quolls in captivity. The objective is to re-establish Eastern Quolls back onto mainland Australia to carry out their ecological role.