Quolls…? We knew you would never be aware of them since the carnivorous marsupials – native to Australia and Papua New Guinea, are already on the brink of extinction. To make the matter worse, they have developed a strangely destructive habit of eating poisonous amphibians. In order to mend their eating habits, the researchers and wildlife advocates from Sydney University and the Territory Wildlife Park respectively are feeding them with stomach-turning sausages. Containing minced legs of cane toads and a chemical, the sausages are producing the desired effect on the quolls.
They can’t smell [the chemical]. They can’t taste it. Basically it makes them really, really sick. We basically give them food poisoning and after that they just won’t touch it or they will sniff the toad, run away from it or bite it and spit it out.
Says the researcher Stephanie O’Donnell.
Researchers hope that once the quolls taste the sausages, they will avoid eating them and the toads as well.