Experimental translocations to understand and combat declines of eastern quolls

Project start date: 01/09/2023
Project end date: 30/06/2028
NESP funding: $80,000 (GST-exclusive)

The eastern quoll (Dasyurus viverrinus) is a nationally endangered marsupial and one of 110 priority species under the Australian Government’s Threatened species action plan 2022–2032. This project aims to understand the causes of population decline for the eastern quoll in Tasmania and develop tools to safeguard this species in its last wild stronghold.

Aimee Bliss releasing an eastern quoll. Photo: David Hamilton
Aimee Bliss releasing an eastern quoll. Photo: David Hamilton.

Researchers are experimentally introducing captive-bred quolls to bolster wild populations in Tasmania and to provide information on what is causing the observed declines in eastern quoll populations. This project is also informing how well the translocations of captive-bred animals works as a management tool and developing evidence-based protocols for using captive-bred translocations to improve recovery of eastern quolls and as an early intervention for other declining species.

This research will collect data on how to proactively address species’ declines before populations become critically small and less likely to recover without significant intervention and investment. Project results will be directly translated into on-ground management of eastern quolls.

Key research areas

To help prevent the further decline of eastern quoll populations and other species, this project is:

  • collating information and determining the key drivers of eastern quoll presence and abundance
  • developing evidence-based protocols for eastern quoll translocations (e.g. site selection, quoll selection, preparation, release strategies, site management)
  • establishing a framework for using experimental translocations as an early-intervention strategy to understand and combat species declines.


  • Eastern Quoll being released. Photo: Matt Newton
  • Light morph eastern quoll on Bruny Island, Tasmania (Jan 2019). Photo: David Hamilton.
  • Dark morph eastern quoll at Five Rivers reserve (Jan 2023). Photo: David Hamilton.
  • Juvenile eastern quoll released at Silver Plains conservation area. Photo David Hamilton
  • Eastern quoll on the move at Silver Plains conservation area (Dec 2020). Photo David Hamilton
  • Eastern quoll on the forest floor. Bruny Island, Tasmania (Jan 2019). Photo: David Hamilton.
  • Eastern quoll at Silver Plains conservation area (Dec 2021). Photo David Hamilton.
  • Eastern quoll in devil trap at West Pencil Pine, Tasmania (Aug 2019). Photo: David Hamilton.
  • Research is taking place in Tasmania, with most fieldwork centred on the Tasmanian Midlands and east coast regions. Image: Resilient Landscapes Hub.