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Mysterious discovery - chuditch found in suburban Perth

Chuditch found in Bateman
Chuditch found in Bateman Parks and Wildlife

Have you seen a chuditch in the Bateman area?

The Department of Parks and Wildlife is seeking public assistance following the discovery of a dead chuditch, or western quoll, on a footpath outside Bateman Primary School in the City of Melville.

Chuditch are carnivorous marsupials found in the Perth Hills and the south-west, including the Swan Coastal Plain, but populations are not known to live in built-up parts of the metropolitan area.

Parks and Wildlife’s animal science program leader Keith Morris said the dead chuditch was reported to the department on Thursday 9 June by a keen-eyed member of the public, Frances D’Souza, who recognised it as an uncommon native species.

“This kind of discovery is exciting for us because it raises questions about how the animal came to be in suburban Perth,” Mr Morris said.

“We know that chuditch can move long distances, so maybe it travelled from the hills along the Canning River using reserves as corridors. That may be 20km or more.

“For it to have avoided predators such as cats and dogs, along with vehicles, for that distance would be remarkable.

“Another possibility is that someone who had been keeping the chuditch, released it.

“The other option is that the species is still naturally occurring in the area, however, this is unlikely because there are no remnant bushland areas large enough to support a chuditch population. Chuditch probably occurred in the area until the 1950s when the Bateman area was still bushland and rural lots.” 

Mr Morris said the chuditch, a two-year-old male, was buried in nearby bushland by the Bateman Primary School gardener before it was retrieved by Parks and Wildlife the following day. It will be taken to the Western Australian Museum to be added to the State’s fauna collection.

“The animal was in very good condition and showed no signs of being predated, although it had a break in a rear leg, indicating it may have died after being hit by a vehicle,” he said.

Anyone with information about chuditch sightings in the Bateman area, or in wider metropolitan Perth, please contact Keith Morris at Parks and Wildlife on 0400 746645, or  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Media contact: Parks and Wildlife Media 9219 9999

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Last modified on Tuesday, 21 June 2016 09:16