Upper Hunter Country

Upper Hunter Country

Not for profit organisation Devil Ark, an insurance population breeding program to help save the Tasmanian devil is celebrating with the announcement of the first Eastern quoll joeys born at the Barrington Tops breeding facility. In 2016 Devil Ark opened its doors to another endangered species, the Eastern quoll, with assistance by Australian Geographic to help the species come back from the brink of extinction. Today Devil Ark staff conducted pouch check on 2 of the female quolls and confirmed 12 joeys. This number is expected to climb to 30 with final pouch checks of the remaining females to be completed in the coming weeks.

Devil Ark’s plan is to secure the species with an insurance population, then return them to wild when the species is at stable numbers. Currently classified as endangered, the eastern quoll is a medium-sized carnivorous marsupial native to Australia. Once found throughout Australia, they have now been declared extinct on the mainland due to introduced feral predators and now only exist and thrive in Tasmania. The successful breeding at Devil Ark sees the species back in one of its initial habitats for the first time since the mainland extinction.

Devil Ark president, Tim Faulkner said about today’s events “The health check was great – the joeys are in perfect condition and all the mums are doing great as well. One can’t describe the feeling you get when you breed an animal in an area it is now extinct in. It really gives you hope for the future of the species.”

Commenting on the success of Devil Ark, Faulkner goes on to explain “As a registered charity, Devil Ark largely relies on external support from project partners like Australian Geographic and the general public to maintain the facility for both the Eastern quolls and Tasmanian devils. I am proud to say, in the quolls case, this significant milestone would not have been possible without Australian Geographic.”

“Australia has the worst mammal extinction rate in the world and we don’t want to see these species go the same way as the infamous Tasmanian tiger. Tasmanian devil populations have reduced by 90% due to disease, now scientists are seeing the same trend of population decline happening to Eastern quolls in their last remaining stronghold, Tasmania. This is because devils control the feral animals, and without the devils, feral animals are becoming more prominent. Our facilities are committed to Australian Wildlife and are well on the way to restabilising quoll numbers for reintroduction to the wild.”

The Eastern quoll plays an important role as an ecosystem engineer, scavenging on carrion on the forest floor. They are also a natural predator maintaining balance in the bush. Breeding occurs in early winter and after a gestation period of 21 days, females give birth to up to 30 young. However, the pouch contains only six teats, limiting survival to first young which can attach themselves to these teats.

Devil Ark’s Social handles Facebook: @TassieDevilArk / Twitter: @devil_ark / Instagram @devil_ark

For further information:

Amanda Woodbine

Marketing Manager Devil Ark & Australian Reptile Park

Phone: (02) 4340 8611

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Published in News

For spectators, the ability to get close to the action provides a thrill not experienced in large arenas. You are literally just metre from all events!

Nestled at the foothills of the Liverpool Range and bounded by the Pages River, The Rosedale Horse Complex offers the perfect location for the annual King Ranges Stockman's Challenage & Bush & Festival.

The three day event highlights the horsemanship and stock handling skills of early Australian stockmen. Preliminary rounds see competitors pitted against each other in the disciplines of horse shoeing, whip cracking, riding bareback through an obstacle course, packing a packhorse as well as stock work and cross country jumping.

Finalists are then required to ride a bucking horse for 8 seconds and catch a wild horse within the specified time limit of 3 minutes, with the winner being named "King of the Ranges."

Complementing the Stockman's Challenge is the Bush Festival with a variety of stalls, display and activities including Cobb & Co Coach rides, cattle dog trials, dog high jump and billy boiling competition.

A highlight this year will be the re-enactment of the life of Archie "Bung" McInnes, a local stockman of the early 1900's who was know as the "King of the Ranges" because of his outstanding horsemanship and stock handling skills and who was the inspiration for the establishment of this event.

The thrills and spills of High Velocity Trick Riding will be front and centre at the upcoming King of the Ranges Stockman's Challenge at Murrurundi on February 24 - 26 2017. Prepare to be amazed by the skills and bravery in this unique and inspirational show which takes horse riding to a thrilling new level.

With booked caravan and camping facilities at the ground you are immersed in the ambiance of the event. If you prefer to be a little further back from the action, you can choose from a number of accommodation options listed on the website: Tickets are available online.


Published in Events & Festivals