Marsupial discovery in South Australia after 130 years offers hope for species

CANBERRA-The discovery of a marsupial thought extinct for 130 years in South Australia (SA) has sparked hopes for the survival of the endangered species. Farmer Pao Ling Tsai on Thursday surprised scientists and conservationists when he trapped a spotted-tail quoll on his property in Beachport more than 300 km south of Adelaide on SA’s south coast. The spotted-tail quoll exists on Australia’s east coast -- over 800 km east of Beachport -- where it is endangered, but had not been spotted in SA since the 1880s and was considered extinct in the state. John Woinarski, a conservation biology expert from Charles Darwin University who sits on the independent Biodiversity Council, told state media the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Saturday that the discovery offered hope for the species in SA. “I suspect instead that there’s been a really small population that’s just happily and luckily survived for decades without anyone realising it was there,” he said.

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