Quolls have been spotted in the Highlands

Quolls rest underground or in hollow log dens during the day and hunt at night. 	Photo: FDC
Quolls rest underground or in hollow log dens during the day and hunt at night. Photo: FDC

A RARE species has reared its head again in the Highlands.

A quoll was recently spotted at the Southern Highlands Koala Sanctuary grounds in Canyonleigh.

The animal is classed as endangered across Australia and has rarely been seen in the Highlands in recent history.

However, the sanctuary's community engagement officer Thelma Johnson said a quoll was found at night time recently in Canyonleigh.

"A quoll is bright red, has white spots and a long tail," she said.

"There have been reported sightings of quolls over the years."

The sanctuary recently announced a new little helper to track endangered species like quolls.

Rosie is an 12-week-old Cavalier King Charles spaniel whose nose is set to prove invaluable for the sanctuary.

Ms Johnson said Rosie would be trained to track the scent of endangered animals after she finished "puppy school", .

She said the sanctuary was in discussions with the University of Wollongong for Rosie to play a role in a local quoll research project.

"Wildlife ecologists and scientists keep coming back here [to the Highlands]," Ms Johnson said.

"We need more research to help save the quolls' future.

"Rosie will make it a more efficient process for research in the Southern Highlands."

Ms Johnson said Rosie could pick up an animal's latest scent in about an hour.

"She will save so many man hours and money for researchers," she said.

Ms Johnson said chicken wings and sardines would be used to attract the quolls' attention.

"They have a similar smell to truffles, which engages quolls," she said.

"We are hoping to get more scientific information about the quolls to get a full understanding of them."

The Southern Highlands Koala Sanctuary is based at Canyonleigh.

For more details, call 4878 9186.