By Prue Simmons - Wild Futures National Coordinator
Devils love watching from a high vantage point
Happy 2013 and thank you to everyone that helped our Tasmanian Devil program in 2012. Your generous donations have enabled us to assist in expanding vital breeding programs as we fight to ensure this amazing species does not disappear down the road to extinction.
With new breeding enclosures now well established and the Devils settling in nicely, Conservation Volunteers Australia will be taking on a new project for Tasmanian Devils. What happens to older Tassie Devils when they have finished their part in the breeding program? They go into retirement of course! Conservation Volunteers Australia will be working with Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary to establish a new enclosure for the devils who are ready to retire and relax - a 'Retirement Village'. We call it the ‘Taking Care of the Elders’ project. The ageing Devils have made an important and long-lasting contribution to the ongoing survival of the species and now they can live out the rest of their days in relaxed comfort, enjoying social interaction, good food and shelter.
As part of our ‘Taking Care of the Elders’ program, we need your help to obtain materials for the project. Fencing, infrastructure for dens and shelter and native plants to provide habitat and shade are all necessary to ensure that our older Tassie Devils heading into retirement are happy, comfortable and healthy. A fitting reward for the hard work they have provided and an important part of looking after the species throughout its entire life in captivity.
You can choose what you would like to support through set amounts for fencing materials, plants, tools – or pledge your own amount and know that you are contributing to the survival of this incredible species.
A big thank you to those that have supported the project so far and we hope that you can continue to join us in the fight against extinction for Tasmanian Devils with our Taking Care of the Elders project.
Enjoying a dip on a hot day
Retired Devils will be able to seek out new scents
By Prue Simmons - Wild Futures National Coordinator
Results of a successful captive breeding program!
Things have been busy for the Conservation Volunteers Tassie Devil team! In Tasmania, our work at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary and teams of enthusiastic volunteers have finished the new enclosures as part of the 'Nurturing the Tasmanian Devil' project, providing Tasmanian Devils involved in the breeding program more space and shelter.
A sense of smell is really important for Tasmanian Devils. Scent provides a main way for individuals to communicate with each other and is one of their most important senses for their survival. To maintain good enrichment for the Tassie Devils at Bonorong, the volunteer teams have built a number of crucial structures in the enclosures, including digging mounds and sniffing platforms so that the Devils can utilise their natural behavioral characteristics and communicate with each other. Check out the photos to see what the new Devil Digs look like! What a wonderful place for Devils to retire after the breeding program!
The prognosis for wild Devils is sadly not so rosy, with scientists estimating a possible wild population extinction within the next decade. Creating and managing these captive breeding and insurance populations of Tasmanian Devils is paramount to enable to species to survive should the wild population completely succumb to the deadly Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) and disappear from the forests of Tasmania altogether.
Your generous support has made these enclosures possible - a crucial part of the expanding captive breeding programs to ensure that this species survives well into the future. More collaborative talks are underway with other wildlife parks on mainland Australia as part of the Tasmanian Devil Program for Conservation Volunteers, giving this species an even greater chance of survival and a Wild Future! Every action counts and every moment counts - so we greatly appreciate your support to save the Tasmanian Devil and look forward to your continued involvement in this fantastic program!
By Madeline Townsend - Director, Volunteer & Membership
Thanks to our great volunteers for their efforts!
Our exciting project to help look after Tasmanian Devils has continued over recent weeks at the Bonorong Wildlife Park on the northern outskirts of Hobart in Tasmania.
With a focus on ensuring there is a healthy future for Tasmanian Devils, volunteers are helping to build holding pens for them. This is a long term project that will make a genuine contribution towards the preservation of this iconic Tasmanian creature, as well as other wildlife. For Tasmanian Devils in particular, the new enclosures will help keep healthy Devils safe and sound, and hopefully allow them to breed and increase the population. Alongside the Tassie Devil pens, and funded independently of our Global Giving project, our volunteers have also been building additional holding enclosures for native animals like wombats and quolls.
Both you and the volunteers have made a great contribution so far, and there is still plenty more to be done. We've added some pictures to show you our progress - and thank you again for your generous support of this important conservation project.