Western Quoll (Idnya) and Brushtail Possum (Virlda) reintroduction to the Flinders Ranges

Western Quoll (Idnya

The Western Quoll (Idnya) is being re-introduced to the Flinders Ranges where they lived for centuries before European settlement.

The Idnya once ranged over about 80 per cent of the Australian continent.

It was last observed in the Flinders Ranges during the 1880s and is extinct in all parts of Australia other than the south-west of Western Australia making it a nationally threatened species.

Successfully re-introducing a new population of Idnya to the central Flinders Ranges would be a major step towards improving its conservation status and ultimately leading to having it delisted as a threatened species.

The Idnya are being translocated from Western Australia with the translocated animals and their offspring carefully monitored and radio-tracked to determine survival, cause of death, preferred habitats and den sites.

The project is being staged over five years to allow time for the Idnya to breed and build sustainable populations within their traditional homelands in the Flinders Ranges.

Radio tracking and trapping will be used over the course of the five year program to determine the success of breeding and the health of the locally-bred animals.

Brushtail Possum (Virlda)

The Brushtail Possum (Virlda) was once common in the rocky ranges and along creeklines in the arid interior of South Australia. Its numbers have declined since European settlement.

The Virlda is being re-introduced to the Ikara-Flinders Ranges region, where they have been absent for 75 years – thought to have become extinct in the 1940s.

Prior to reintroduction the most northerly populations in South Australia were found at Quorn in the southern Flinders Ranges.

Despite being considered a pest in urban areas, possum populations are considered stable in only two regions outside of Adelaide: Kangaroo Island and the South East.

The Virlda are being translocated from the Yookamurra Sanctuary near Swan Reach in South Australia, with the translocated animals and their offspring carefully monitored and radio-tracked to determine survival, cause of death, preferred habitats and den sites.

Successfully re-introducing a new population of Virlda to the central Flinders Ranges would be a major step towards reversing the decline of the species in South Australia. 

The Idnya and Virlda are totems of the Adnyamathanha Aboriginal peoples and the project will allow the local Adnyamathanha peoples an opportunity to witness the return of animals that are so important to their living culture.

The partners

The project brings together the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) and the Foundation for Australia’s Most Endangered Species (FAME), representing South Australia’s first public-private environmental partnership, which is aimed at re-establishing the Idnya  and Virlda to a region where they once thrived.

DEWNR and FAME also partner with WA Parks and Wildlife who are providing the source population of Idnya as well as advice on translocation site selection, and translocation and monitoring techniques.

The Foundation for Australia’s Most Endangered Species (FAME) is a not for profit organisation dedicated to helping Australian species most at risk of extinction with a vision to prevent any further extinctions of Australian species.

Thanks to the many volunteers, contractors, donors, land managers and partners of Bounceback and FAME and WA Parks and Wildlife for their support for this project.

Quoll Idnya project partners

We need your help!

FAME is leading the drive to raise approximately $1.7 million over a five-year period to fund the recovery of the Idnya and Virlda.

They greatly need your help to continue this vitally important project and make it the success it deserves to be.

Donations to the Western Quoll and Brushtail Possum project can be made by visiting the FAME website or contact fame@fame.org.au for more information.

Stay informed!

Idnya and Virlda e-news

To receive a regular email update on the Idnya and Virlda's progress please send an email to SAAridLands@sa.gov.au with the subject ‘Quoll/Possum update’

Across The Outback

As well as the Idnya and Virlda e-news, we also update the community on Idnya and Virlda news via our regular newsletter Across The Outback.