The Tasmanian Devil is in Danger - not Dangerous!
The Tasmanian Devil is the symbol of the Tasmanian National Parks and Wildlife Service. Tasmanian devils became extinct on mainland Australia for 600 years. The Devil Facial Tumour Disease, is having a devastating effect on the Tasmanian devil population which had recovered from population decline in the 1940's when it was feared the animal would follow the thylacine into extinction. The Tasmanian Devil is now listed as vulnerable in Tasmania.
It has been over ten years since the facial tumour disease was discovered in the Tasmanian Devil. Since then ground breaking research has almost certainly established that the disease is a cancerous cell line transmitted by allograft - that is by a bite from a diseased devil leads to the tumour directly invading the second animal without being destroyed by the immune system. Devils commonly give and receive bites during mating and feeding.
Devils only live for about 5 years in the wild and raise few young to maturity. Hopes rest on maintaining breeding populations isolated from the infectious wild population and urgent research. Once used to isolate convicts and not naturally home to the tassie devil, Maria island on Tasmania's east coast, is being used to isolate an off show wild insurance population. The Trowunna Wildlife Park, Mole Creek Tasmania breeding population has recently become infected although the 2 devils sent from there to Denmark are believed to be disease free. Other facilities around the state remain disease free and Australia Zoo maintains a disease free priority breeding program on the mainland.
Several government and independant initiatives are in place to prevent the disease from wiping out the Tasmanian Devil population. Last year about 26 juvenile devils were taken into captivity from all the last remaining disease-free areas in the state, to capture the genetic diversity across the state.
For more information and if you would like to donate to critical research, please visit the following link, a foundation setup by the University of Tasmania - http://www.utas.edu.au/foundation/devil.htm
If anyone wants to donate just a small amount line $3.00 and isn't up to filling in the whole credit cards thing on the official website, please send it through to me via PayPal to seachange_au(AT)netspace.com.au (replacing the (AT) with @) and Forthferalz will drop by their office with a cheque at the game completion. I will recover the PayPal costs back from the Taxation Department.
They need our help