The future of a previously extinct iconic species in parts of South Australia is further secured thanks to a valuable partnership between a conservation and wildlife protection group and the nation’s premier shooting body.
The Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia (SSAA) will provide $60,000 to the Foundation for Australia’s Most Endangered Species (FAME) to aid in the efforts to reintroduce the western quoll (Dasyurus geoffroii) to the Flinders Ranges.
The much-needed funding will help relocate and release more quolls from Western Australia to the Flinders Ranges. The partnership will also see the SSAA assist with monitoring efforts and work collaboratively with landowners surrounding the national parks to reduce the biggest threat to the project: feral cats.
The success of the program since it began in April has largely been attributed to the SSAA’s 20-year involvement in Operation Bounceback, which saw hunters from the SSAA South Australia Conservation and Wildlife Management (CWM) branch assist the State Government with pest animal control in the region’s national parks.
FAME Chief Executive Officer Cheryl Hill said the organisation approached the SSAA because of its renowned contributions to conservation management and the role SSAA SA CWM has played in Operation Bounceback.
“With a respected group like the SSAA and the determination to make a difference to this project, this partnership will be very valuable going forward,” she said.
SSAA Chief Executive Officer Tim Bannister said the project fits with the SSAA’s many other environmental activities, making the decision to back the initiative clear.
“Our commitment to successful and responsible conservation and wildlife management is demonstrable, with our hunter members credited for the overwhelming success of Operation Bounceback,” he said.