The project/survey will utilise a holding apparatus with an organic-based lure, and the equipment will then be monitored by a motion sensor camera/s to record through photography, animals lured to the area.
Motion Sensor Cameras are to be deployed at least 50 meters inwards and away from any walking tracks or access roads and up to 3 km intervals parallel to the access road or walking path within an average distance of 10km. Spotted-tailed Quolls have quite a large ranges and studies have proven that this separation distance method is most successful in obtaining images of the species.
Cameras are fastened and secured to a tree with a baited canister/ or bag is attached on the opposite side of the camera at a minimal distance range of 400mm from the camera.
The bait/lure is usually chicken frames or an organic scented lure paste of mixed sardines and anchovies (typical of the shelf human consumption items). Bait is held in a sealed or otherwise open lattice bag or a PVC canister with small breeding holes. Most animals including Quolls may consume small quantities of the safe to consume bait/lure, but it doesn’t affect their natural foraging abilities or dependence.
The camera is turned on. The camera will activate when movement occurs. Internal thermal heat or motion sensors will enable cameras by animals passing near or in front of the camera/s, this, in turn, will provide images that will be valuable data on a range of species, with further use for conservation purposes for all kinds of animals, not just quolls.
Cameras are usually left out and untouched for a minimum of 2 months. The timeline will vary from place to place with areas with potentially high densities or areas where previous sighted animals were recorded may affect the timeline survey for a more extended period.
Every two months cameras (batteries and cards) and lures are replenished of their contents. The camera is again refastened and secured on the same tree and once again angled toward the bait. The camera is then turned on and left for another two months where after that time, it will be relocated within another 10 km area, again at least 50 meters inwards from any walking tracks or access roads and at 3 km intervals parallel to the access road or walking path.
When retrieving the camera and lure canister, it is merely by unstrapping all devices from the trees, leavening no traces of its previous presence.
In the eventuality of finding a wild population of quolls, the camera traps are then placed with a slight modification in a position set up, on both Camera and Lure, further info can be obtained here https://tinyurl.com/y8l7o59h. This unique and non-invasive system was created and developed so field units can determine with accuracy, genre and in case of females if there are breeding, including the presence of future juveniles in the colony.