Tasmanian Devils is an iconic Australian animal found wild only in Tasmania. They are largest carnivorous marsupial in the world since the extinction of its cousin the Tasmanian Tiger. Due to a deadly disease their numbers have been dropping dramatically since the 1990s and were last year declared as endangered.
What is killing them? Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD), an infectious cancer which is transmitted between individuals through biting, a natural behaviour during feeding and mating. This devastating disease has been sweeping through the native populations killing up to 90% of devils in some areas.
Australian zoos and wildlife parks are working together with the government of Tasmania to place disease-free devils into an ‘insurance breeding program’ that breeds healthy devils and maintains the maximum genetic-diversity of the species so that if the worst happens and the disease wipes them out in the wild, the zoos can repopulate devil habitat with disease-free animals in the future
What can be done?
They may not be cute and cuddly – in fact their known for their screeching and fierce behaviour – yet for a small animal, much of their spine-tingling snarls are for show to threaten other devils away. They are also a part of us … a part of us that is unqiuely Australian and its is our responsbility to look out for them. To do what is right … to do what is necessary
Visit Tassie Devil Appeal and find out how you can help save the devil from exctinction.
I also recommend if you can to go and visit them … check out your local zoo, wildlife park and visit these interesting creatures. My son loves visiting the zoo and I am sure that your kids will enjoy it as well.
Some places involved in the insurance breeding program where you can see the devils include
- Taronga Zoo Sydney, NSW
- Australian Reptile Park Gosford, NSW
- Trowunna Wildlife Park Tasmania
- Healesville Sanctuary – Healesville, Vic
- Adelaide Zoo – Adelaide, SA
- Perth Zoo – Perth, WA
- Australia Zoo – Gold Coast, QLD
- Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary – Gold Coast, QLD
- Lone Pine Koala Park – Brisbane, QLD
Photo by David Clode on Unsplash