Australia has one of the highest rates of mammal extinction in the world, and since Black Saturday, more animals are under threat.
The area where Black Saturday happened provided natural habitat for many species, and sadly, many are more threatened and endangered due to destruction of their habitat.
This series of Endangered Species articles will examine some of the species under threat in this area and increase awareness of their plight.
The endangered Macquarie Perch can be black, silver-grey, blue-grey or green-brown in colour, with a paler underside and are found in both river and lake habitats; especially the upper reaches of rivers and their tributaries. They are quiet, furtive fish that feed on aquatic insects, crustaceans and molluscs. They were in King Parrot Creek (Kinglake to Flowerdale) and programs are in place for their recovery in this area. The creek didn’t burn as much as others, but siltation has been a problem.
Spot-tailed Quolls are recognised by conspicuous white spots over the body and tail; no other quoll species in Australia has a spotted tail. Their fur colour ranges from light to very dark brown, and they can also be identified by their relatively large head with a wide jaw gape and long, curved canine teeth. A threatened species, the Spot-tailed Quoll is the largest marsupial carnivore on mainland Australia. In the breeding season, male Spot-tailed Quolls typically emit a slow, deep growl and a loud, explosive spitting sound. They are generally solitary animals that occur at low densities as they occupy huge home ranges, from 2,000 to 4,500 hectares for males and 600 to 1,200 hectares for females.
This is the first article in a four-part series on Black Saturday endangered species.