Quollity selfie spotting from citizen scientists

Citizen scientists from across Australia and the world have helped researchers count Illawarra's elusive spotted-tailed quoll, Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton said 3 March.

Spotted-tailed quoll (Dasyurus maculatus)

"Six months ago we asked citizen scientists to jump online and help us analyse more than 80,000 photos taken from across the Illawarra region," Ms Upton said.

"More than 300 volunteers answered the call and we can now confirm at least 20 individual quolls call this region home.

"This is a great milestone for this citizen science project – in time to celebrate World Wildlife Day!"

The Quollidor project is funded under the NSW Government's $100 million Saving our Species project and is providing a fascinating glimpse into the hidden world of this endangered carnivorous marsupial.

The 29 motion sensor cameras in the region collect 20,000 to 30,000 images every 8 weeks that the enthusiastic citizen scientists have sorted through.

"We have images of quolls posing for selfies, exploring the camera and jumping on and around the monitoring station," Ms Upton said.

Quolls have huge home ranges and move across the landscape making it difficult to otherwise monitor their population and behavioural patterns.

"It's great to see people being able to use technology to make a real contribution to the conservation of NSW's unique animals," Ms Upton said.

The spotted-tailed quoll is the only remaining quoll species in the state. The project is ongoing and will help the NSW Government increase the resilience and size of the local quoll population.

For more information, visit: The Barren Grounds-Budderoo Quollidor project