There are hopes 50 eastern quolls returned to the wilderness in NSW will spark a historic baby boom for the endangered creatures.
It's the largest single release of the little predators on mainland by Australia Conservation organisation Aussie Ark.
The creatures are now roaming free within the confines of the 400 hectare protected Barrington Wildlife Sanctuary in Barrington Tops, part of the Great Dividing Range in NSW.
Introduced feral foxes and cats - the No.1 killers of native wildlife in Australia - have been removed from the sanctuary to create a pristine habitat for species like quolls to survive, thrive and breed.
Released this week ahead of next month's breeding season, it's hoped the quolls will breed with an existing population already released into the fenced sanctuary.
For millions of years eastern quolls were plentiful on the mainland but in the early 1900s disease and feral animals wiped them out in the region.
In 2018 a population was relocated from Tasmania to Jervis Bay on the NSW South Coast.
The quolls released this week are part of Aussie Ark's eastern quoll breeding program as well as the larger Tasmanian Quoll Conservation Program.
There are now 150 quolls at Barrington Tops, with numbers growing with every breeding season.
The goal is to bolster the species' population and stop their extinction, Aussie Ark's Dean Reid says.
"We have released these quolls at the perfect time for them to find mates," he said.
"We should be able to get back out here in a couple of months' time and confirm breeding and the presence of joeys," he said.
Australian Associated Press
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