Counting on our quenda
THERE is an unknown and possibly growing number of quenda hidden in Kings Park but one intriguing fact known about the group is their historic tie to the Beeliar Wetlands.
Quenda were first discovered in Kings Park in 2012 and have been spotted where there is significant vegetation, including the WA Botanic Garden.
Kings Park bushland manager Ryan Glowacki said a 2015 external research program found the seven quenda sampled there were closely related.
“Further analysis has shown the seven quenda originated from the Beeliar Wetlands System and therefore must have been unauthorised introductions,” he said.
Cameras continue to monitor their progress across the 1100ha of banksia woodland. University of Adelaide quenda research supervisor Sean Tomlinson said the park’s population were lucky survivors because relocating a native species was an involved process requiring in-depth assessments to get their right number and subsequent scientific monitoring.
“When you think about it like that, it’s a real surprise
that the quenda in Kings Park survived and appear to be thriving,” he said.
“They don’t much like the park’s lawns and tend to avoid those, but they really like the dense thickets of parrotbush, probably because it’s spiky and horrible and nothing sensible would go in there looking for a quenda except a desperate
To support these findings and ongoing research, volunteers are needed to be part of World Wide Fund for Nature Australia’s eighth annual Spring Quenda Count to determine the marsupial’s health, population and range across Perth. Count co-ordinator Rochelle Steven said about 350 people
at nearly 370 sites were being tasked with finding where populations of quenda were living in comparison to previous surveys, and determining changes to their ranges and numbers in parks, gardens and the bush.
“The participation of families in the suburbs is critical to get an insight into the status of quenda on private land,” Dr Steven said.
Dr Tomlinson said the annual count would be useful to verify reports of quenda “fossicking” in people’s gardens. To join the count, email quenda@ wwf.org.au.
Count co-ordinator Rochelle Steven investigates quenda habitat in Kings Park.