MEERKATS ARE OUT, QUOLLS ARE IN
Meerkats used to be my number one cute small mammal, but they have just been replaced in my affections by northern quolls. I was watching a David Attenborough wildlife programme last night and he introduced me to these lovely little Australian mammals.
How could you resist that?
The poor things are in danger of extinction because they are carnivorous and like to eat, amongst other things, poisonous cane toads. Cane toads are not indigenous to the area and so quolls have not evolved to avoid eating them, and are now dying in great numbers. There’s a conservation programme going on where they are trying to teach quolls, using aversion therapy (yes, really!), not to eat cane toads. The good news is that it seems to be working and adults which have learned not to eat the toads are passing this knowledge on to their offspring.