About Devil Conservation

Meet the Devil

The Tasmanian Devil is a unique carnivorous marsupial, found only in Tasmania. Its distinctive black  fur with white markings and large jaws have even been characterised as the cartoon character Taz’ by Warner Brothers. The devil is the top carnivore in the Tasmanian ecosystem, replacing the Tasmanian Tiger after it became extinct in the early 1900s.

You are now able to meet a Tasmanian Devil face to face on our unique Tasmanian Wildlife Encounter Tour. Set in the stunning Tasmanian wilderness, Premier Travel Tasmania’s Wildlife Tours provide the opportunity to see many of Tasmania’s wild animals. As an island state Tasmania provides extraordinary wildlife watching and on tour you will observe Tasmanian devils, wombats, small marsupials, eagles, seals, dolphins, birds and also the elusive platypus.

Premier Travel Tasmania donates to Tasmanian Devil research

The plight of the Tasmanian Devil, whose species has been affected by a facial tumour disease, has inspired Premier Travel Tasmania to actively support and donate funds to assist with the research to save the world’s largest carnivorous marsupial. We give $5 for every customer to ‘Go Wild’ at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary’s dedicated team is involved in the rescue and research of this threatened species. Premier Travel Tasmania and Bonorong have joined forces and have developed the devil monitoring project, an initiative which is providing significant research data and insight into the devils breeding habits.

Check out this video to have a sneak peak of these fascinating critters!

Premier Travel Tasmania has also inspired a number of international wholesalers to match our donations. If you would like to find out more, experience Tasmania’s Devils and assist with their conservation, we suggest our 8 Day Tasmanian Wildlife Encounter small group tour, our 6 Day Tasmanian Devil Encounter private tour, our 1 Day Wilderness and Wildlife tour or a tailor-made program. All our conservation tours make a further contribution to the disease research effort.

 

Here are some facts about the disease and its current status:

Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) is a term used to describe a fatal condition in Tasmanian Devils, which is characterised by the appearance of obvious facial tumours. The tumours or cancers are first noticed in and around the mouth as small lesions or lumps. These develop into large tumours around the face and neck and sometimes even in other parts of the body. Adults appear to be most affected by the disease and badly affected devils have many cancers throughout the body.

Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) appears to be a new disease that is restricted to Tasmanian Devils. No affected animals were detected among the 2000-plus devils tracked by six biologists between 1964 and 1995. Photographs were taken in north-east Tasmania in 1996 of what were probably some of the first cases. As at November 2007, DFTD has been confirmed at more than 60 separate sites covering 59% of the State. DFTD is a contagious tumour that is spread between individuals, most probably through biting. The foreign cells of the tumour aren’t rejected by the animal’s immune system because of a lack of genetic diversity among Tasmanian Devils. Once the cancer becomes visible, animals usually die within a few months. Tasmanian Devils appear to succumb between two and three years of age, although some juveniles as young as one year old have also become infected. This is resulting in very young age-structured populations in which females have only one breeding event (usually they have three). Populations in which the Tasmanian Devil disease has been observed for several years have declined by up to 90 per cent, with no evidence to date of either a cessation of decline or a diminution in the prevalence of the disease. Scientific papers published by team members are crucial to the Tasmanian Devil Disease Programme. Not only do they share the latest knowledge with the general public and the wider scientific community, but they encourage discussion and debate that fosters further ideas and progress. For the latest research findings and a full list of recent and significant scientific papers visit www.tassiedevil.com.au.