September 28, 2021 –
Talk on Perth’s Quenda – Monitoring and Salvage by Geoff Barrett, Phd, Regional Ecologist, Swan Region, Department of Parks and Wildlife
Quenda (bandicoots) can be found in many Perth suburbs, surviving in patches of bushland that retain dense, low vegetation and wet areas. Described as ecosystem engineers, an individual animal will turn close to four tones of soil each year, softening the surface, cycling nutrients and improving the health of the vegetation. Numbers of quenda fluctuate, with fire events and predator activity causing local extinctions, that may then rely on animals salvaged from development sites, to replenish the local population. The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) receives over a hundred salvaged animals each year, placing them in recipient sites, where the habitat is suitable but the quenda numbers are low. Local government and Friends groups have a significant role in the success of these relocated quenda, liaising with the community, installing fences to keep dogs out, removing foxes and cats and monitoring the new arrivals.