A project to save the only healthy, natural, wild, isolated population of devils in the world is underway on Tasman Peninsula south east of Hobart. The Tasman Isolation Project, which is backed by Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park as part of the official Save the Devil Program, aims to create a fortress to preserve a remnant population of around 20 to 30 devils that has remained free of a fatal cancer that has killed 80% of wild devils in the past 20 years.
Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD), the world’s first fatal contagious cancer, bizarrely is transmitted by biting which unfortunately is a common Tasmanian devil trait.
Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park now is part of a monitoring program using remote cameras to visually check images of local devils to ensure they do not show any signs of DFTD. If continuing surveys do not find any disease by October 2015 the region will officially become a disease-free zone and can be restocked with healthy captive-bred animals.
The park, apart from displaying devils, is involved in;
Helping to monitor the local wild devils for disease-free status
An intended breeding project to help re-stock the area when appropriate
Providing quarantine and breeding facilities for managing the local wild population
In the past the park has raised orphaned devils from mothers that have died from DFTD, researched devil-proof road grids, trialled radio collars for tracking wild devils and built 10 quarantine areas for holding and managing devils in the vital effort to save the species.
The park does accept donations for continuing this work. The monies are held in trust and will be used for:
Purchase equipment to monitor local wild devils for disease-free status
Lease or purchase land for the possible construction of a large half-way bush land enclosure for the soft release of captive-bred devils before hard release into the wild
Construction of the bush land enclosure
Surplus funds will be handed over to the Save the Devil Appeal.
From October 2014 the park will be operating Devil Tracker Tours for visitors to experience the devil monitoring project first hand.
To contribute (in cash or in kind) to the above cause, please contact John Hamilton on +61 3 62 503 230 or email@example.com.