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NEWS ARTICLE

Help save a mammal, buy a choccy quoll

Brett Murphy and Leo Cleanthous with the new chocolate quolls
CDU Associate Professor Brett Murphy and Bumble Bean Chocolate Head Chocolatier Leo Cleanthous with the new chocolate northern quoll.

Forget about chocolate bunnies this Easter, in 2020 it’s all about showing your love for the Top End’s northern quoll.

In a new partnership, Charles Darwin University (CDU) and local Darwin business Bumble Bean Chocolates, have teamed up to produce a specially made chocolate version of this small Aussie mammal.

The distinctly Top End treat is available in store at Bumble Bean, with a portion of the proceeds going towards research into Top End endangered species.

CDU Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods, principal research fellow Associate Professor Brett Murphy said the collaboration would raise valuable awareness and funds for northern quoll research.

“The northern quoll is the largest carnivorous marsupial in northern Australia,” Dr Murphy said.

“They are unique because of their very short lifespan, with females surviving for two to three years, and an astonishing near-complete die-off of males at the end of their first breeding season. Males die because they use all their energy trying to find as many mates as possible.”

Dr Murphy said the northern quoll had once been common from central Queensland, right around the edge of northern Australia, including the Top End and the Darwin area.

“Sadly, over the past century they have vanished from many of these areas. Northern quolls are now only found in isolated places, such as the rocky escarpments of Kakadu National Park, where favourable habitat provides refuge from their main threats, feral cats and cane toads,” he said.

“To save the northern quoll from extinction we need more research that can help to develop methods that control these predators. The collaboration with Bumble Bean Chocolates will be a great a way of helping us to achieve that goal.”

Bumble Bean Chocolates Co-owner Despina Cleanthous said the collaboration was an important opportunity to support the Top End’s native wildlife.

“We are very passionate Territorians and we like to keep everything as local as possible,” Ms Cleanthous said.

“When CDU approached us about getting involved, we thought it would be a great way to raise awareness about the plight of these cute little animals.”

Ms Cleanthous said the white spots that featured on the back of the northern quoll would be hand painted at Bumble Bean, making every chocolate one of a kind.

“We are really pleased to be involved and we hope this might be the beginning of a whole series of Territory endangered species we can create (in chocolate),” she said.

Twenty-five per cent from the sale of every chocolate will be directed towards northern quoll and Top End endangered species research. The chocolate northern quolls are available for purchase at Bumble Bean Chocolates’ Stuart Park cafe.