We have some very talented artists and story tellers in the Top End, and what better way to get the next generation to value our wildlife and landscapes and the connectivity between species, than to intrigue and educate them through books, here is just the first of a few great titles that we will feature.. .
Sandra Kendall, Darwin resident and artist has written several books with a focus on loving our landscapes and the wildlife within-
My main aim is providing accessible images and stories for children about native wildlife to entertain and educate. The last couple of books have focused on urban wildlife to provide stories that Top End kids can claim particular affinity with with the hope that in turn this will stimulate interest in other local species.
My first book “Quoll” (published by Windy Hollow Books 2008) was inspired by the Island Ark Project, a collaboration between Biodiversity North, The Territory Wildlife Park and The Gumurr Marthakal Rangers aiming to preserve a healthy population of Northern Quoll on offshore islands as the arrival of Cane Toads in Top End was pushing the species to the brink of extinction. The story of one quolls plight is told from the animals point of view as she tries to save her family from the Cane Toad ‘invasion’.
(Scientific information about the Northern Quoll for the book was kindly provided by Dr John Woinarski in the info pages following the narrative)
The Northern Quoll (Dasyurus hallucatus) is a mammal native to northern Australia which weighs 300g- 1000g and has prominent white spots on its fur. It is carnivorous and eats a range of invertebrates including reptiles. It’s habitat is hollow logs, tree hollows and rock crevices.
The Northern Quoll is listed as critically endangered in the Northern Territory and is listed as endangered within Australia as a whole. It has been recorded as rapidly declining in numbers over the last few decades. This decline is largely attributed to the introduction and spread of cane toads but also is affected by frequent and late season burning, which causes habitat loss.
In the Northern Territory the quoll is restricted to the Top End. To assist its recovery private landholders can implement a Cane Toad eradication program, prevent the loss of habitat, particularly tree hollows by protecting landscapes from hot fires and even create and place tree hollows with the property.