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Australian Environmental Issues

Blue-tongue
A true-blue battler

Box jellyfish
How to avoid the stings and what to do if stung

Crocodile
So you wrestle crocs...

Dingo
Unfairly judged in killing off the thylacine?

Echidna
The wise little gnomes of Australia

Emu
Victors of the great Emu war

Flies
Shaping everything from how Australians speak to how they salute

Funnel Web spider
Yyou'll never leave your ugg boots outside

Kangaroo
Most herbivores don't grow a spine until they are the size of an elephant. Not so the roo.

Snakes
Kill less people than cows

Shark attack Australia
How to ensure you don't go by the name of Bob

Tasmanian Devil
The solution to mainland extinctions?

Tasmanian Tiger
A sad tale

Wombat
Keg of muscle

Quoll
The mainland's largest marsupial carnevore

Mythical creatures
Yowies and dropbears; some say they are myths but those who are not afraid to talk have shared their stories

 

 

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Quoll - Native Pet

 

Quoll

In need of a new name

Even though the Quoll is mainland Australia's largest native predator, Australia doesn't have any professional sporting team named after it. Perhaps this is because the name Quoll just isn't scary enough. A one syllable name tends to be the domain of herbivores like the cow, horse, or sheep. It is in the second syllable where the predators such as tigers, cobras, lions, and pumas rein supreme. Admittedly, a few predators carry over in the third syllable, such as hyena, crocodile and chimpanzee, but these start to develop a comical edge. Fortunately, one syllable names are better than those in the 4th syllable and above, such as hippopotamus, as these sound ridiculous.

On rare occasions, some predators have been able to get away with a one syllable name, such as shark and hawk, but this is only because the k gives their names an abrupt end. Quoll can just be drawn out far too much, almost like an old man drooling.

The current name of the Quoll appears to be the result of Captain Cook being stranded in Nth Queensland. As he worked away on is damaged ship, he was befriended by a local Aboriginal tribe who entrusted him with their word for the fierce nocturnal that had intimidated his crew. In their language, they referred to it with a solid two syllable words that may have been dekol, taquol, jaquol or je-quoll. Inexplicably, Cook only recorded the one syllable; forever tainting the Quoll as having a name that belongs in the realm of the herbivore.

Even though the Quoll doesn’t have an intimidating name, it is the type of animal that tourists would love to see on their Australian safari. It sort of resembles a cat except it has a pouch, bright eyes, a moist pink nose and a powerful bite. It can grow to up to 75 cm in length and weigh up to 7kg.

Unfortunately, they are quite rare so few have ever caught a glimpse of them. They spend the day in one of their many dens, although spotted-tailed Quolls and northern Quolls sometimes forage and bask in the sunshine. Some Australians have been lucky enough to make pets out of them. According to Professor Mike Archer, former Director of the Australian Museum, who once kept a Quoll:

"I just can’t praise these animals highly enough as companions for human beings. They have all the good features in dogs and cats, and in my experience not a single downside".

With luck, the laws may one day change and the opportunities afforded to Australia's elite will also be afforded to the commoner. Quolls, so often ignored and misunderstood, will then occupy a proud place in Australian homes as an honoured pet. Perhaps some will escape where they will do Australia a service by cleaning up suburbia’s decaying meat, rabbits and other introduced vermin.

Questions to think about

Give it a new name

The quoll needs a new name. If you speak Latin, write three characteristics of the quoll and then translate into latin to give it its name. If you don’t speak latin, write three characteristics of the Quoll and write them with a latin sounds. For example, Coolest Native Catus (It’s close enough. In movies, speaking English with a German accent has always been good enough to be passed off as a Nazi and so Latin sounding English words is good enough for the Quoll.)

If you  can’t see the point of latin, chose one of the Aboriginal names that it might have been (dekol, taquol, jaquol or je-quoll) and make an argument why this suits its character.

 

Industry

Below are methods that could allow some people to make money out of the Quoll. How do you think working in each industry would affect attitudes to the Quoll?

Funding to save them - The only real industry is as a research subjects by scientists, or to provide an endangered animal story that can be used by wilderness groups to write emotive appeals asking for funding to save them.

Pest controllers – Potentially, Quolls could make great pest controllers. They could compete with cats and foxes for food, and eliminate rabbits and rats in the process. Landowners could breed them and sell them as a substitute to 1080 poison.

Pets - Sometimes scientists have made great pets out of Quolls. At present, the general public is not allowed to do likewise. The general argument is that Quolls require special care that only a scientist can give. Consequently, Australians have to reserve their abusive ownership methods for dogs and cats that simply go bush if they are unhappy with their owners.

1)http://www.abc.net.au/rn/science/earth/stories/s145805.htm

2) David Obendorf - http://www.animal-lib.org.au/news/1080--the-real-killer.htm"

 

 

Invasive ferals

Carp

Carp and Trout
A tale of two ferals

New hope for Cane Toads
The many unknown predators of the toad

Rabbits
A fence almost 2,000 km long to keep rabbits out of WA? Sounds like a great idea! If it doesn't work, we'll build another one!

The Willow
How a change in its status from asset to weed led to fish kills with blackwater and blue-green algae outbreaks

To bait dingos?
Should the health of the ecosystem be considered or just the kennel club registration?

Koala control
What to do about the "koala plague" on Kangaroo Island

Cat
Apex predator in Australia. Confined to urban areas in America.

Environmental values

Environmental problems
How money and ideology shapes environmental "science."

Bushfire
Australia's Stockholm Syndrome with gum trees.

The Kangaroo industry
Should we eat skippy?

Climate change in Australia
Australia was once covered in rainforest. Could it be again?

Sustainability
The dark side of sustainable environmental policies

Native pets
Why no pet wombats?

 

 

       

Australian environmental science is defined by an ideology that is not unlike a prison warden. There, the scientists are not seeing themselves as part of the ecosystem, but as masters over it; protecting the rights of the species that they say have rights and killing those that they say do not…but inevitably killing both.

"It was always seen as desirable to remove or cull the introduced species. We also need to ask whether it was possible to do so, how it should be done, whether it could have unintended consequences and what it would cost? I don't think anyone really asked those questions." Physicist John Reid - 2012