Making an Enclosed Success
Dear Friends in Tassie Devil Conservation,
The Tasmanian Devil is a unique species, it is currently the world's largest surviving carnivorous marsupial. Their piercing screams can be heard at night but they are rarely spotted, largely because they are nocturnal and somewhat elusive. This amazing species has been subjected to the Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) which has seen a dramatic drop in wild devil populations. Since the disease was discovered and identified in 1996 some areas around Tasmania have seen a 95% decrease in devil numbers. They are a scavenger by nature which sees them often exposed to traffic due to the attraction to road kill. This added threat for the devil has seen a number of fatalities in the healthy populations.
Attempts are being made to discourage devils from the road including installing virtual fencing. The fence sends a high pitched noise out to deter them when they cross the sensors. These have been installed on the Tasman Peninsula as a trial, in locations where there have been high numbers of devil road kills. This project is hoped to lower the number of road kill as well as becoming a method that can be implemented state wide. Community awareness campaigns around driving to the conditions and removing road kill from the road are also being promoted as methods of avoidance.
The other programs that have assisted with increasing healthy devil numbers have included captive breeding, isolation of healthy devils and relocation programs. Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) has been a part of a number of these programs thanks to the generosity and support from Global Giving donations. CVA have not only participated in the relocation and soft release programs, we were also able to build a large devil enclosure for aging healthy devils. This was a great way of allowing these healthy breeding populations to retire and relax into their old age.
By gaining future support through donations, CVA will be able to participate in virtual fencing programs across the state as well as relocation and soft release programs. This will see wide spread disease free devil populations return to Tasmania, while helping protect this unique national icon.
Happy Devils retire in Style!
Did someone say Relocate?
Virtual Fence Example - Photo D McIntyre ABC News