Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sanctuary Established for the Tasmanian Devil (Video) *Cancer pushes endangered Devil to near extinction*


The iconic, and carnivorous, Tasmanian Devil (Sarcophilus harisii)

Tasmania Establishes Sanctuary for the Endangered Tasmanian Devil

Tasmanian Devil in Trouble A sanctuary on the island of Tasmania has been built for the legendary Tasmanian Devil. Devil Facial Tumor Disease has decimated the population by an estimated 70% in the last 15 years. In some hard-hit areas the population has plummeted by 90%. The sanctuary is to isolate healthy Devils from the disease and establish a non-infected breeding population. The Tasmanian Devil is potentially facing extinction due to this Disease.

Devil Facial Tumor Disease It is believed that the Devil Facial Tumor Disease is spread through the saliva, when the Devils scuffle, and bite, each other during the mating season. Tumors form on the face and ultimately they cannot eat and die of starvation. Efforts continue to discover a cure or vaccine. To save the species some Tasmanian Devils have been placed in zoos. However, a new approach is now being undertaken.

Free Range Enclosures FREs, a quarantined environment, are being built to save the Tasmanian Devil. The sanctuaries are on islands, dubbed Devil Islands, and walls are built as a biosecurity measure to isolate the healthy individuals. This allows the Devils to be disease-free, safe, and maintain their wild behaviors. These sanctuaries hold the "insurance population" and it is hoped someday, when the disease has been controlled, these Devils can be released back into the wild, into their native habitat.

Tasmania Builds Sanctuary for the Devil Conservationists hope a new sanctuary will save Australia's declining Tasmanian Devil population. Gemma Haines reports.

Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Services
The Tasmanian devil cannot be mistaken for any other marsupial. Its spine-chilling screeches, black colour, and reputed bad-temper, led the early European settlers to call it The Devil. Although only the size of a small dog, it can sound and look incredibly fierce.

Save The Tasmanian Devil
Devil Facial Tumor Disease threatens the existence of this internationally recognized icon.

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