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Tasmanian return to mainland after extinct 3000 years ago

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Return of Tasmanian

After thousands of years, there is once again wild Tasmanian devils living on the mainland of Australia.

A total of 26 devils have so far go back to the wild in the Barrington Tops National Park north of Newcastle, NSW.

The latest batch of 11 was back to a 400ha wildlife sanctuary in the park on September 10, joining the 15 introduced in July.

Sanctuary

The sanctuary gives the endangered devils space to roam and freedom to adjust to the wild while protecting other animals.

Conservationist can monitor their progress in the lead up to the 2021 breeding season.

The devils have been fitted with radio collars and there are cameras covering the sanctuary for monitoring.

The introduction of dingo also affects them. Dingoes never made it to Tasmania. However, contagious cancer is now threatening the Tasmanian devil population.

The factor of Tasmanian declining

Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease (DFTD) spreads through bites and causes large tumours on the face and mouth of the animals.

According to Tasmania’s environment department, cancerous devils usually die within a few months of showing symptoms.

The disease has caused a massive decline in the Tasmanian devil population, and the species are now encountering endangered.

It’s hoped that a backup population can be maintained on the mainland, free of cancer, in case Tasmania’s existing devil population gives into the disease.

A Tasmanian devil in the wild in NSW. Rewilding the species on the mainland is part of a plan to establish an insurance population.

Aussie Ark, formerly Devil Ark, has bred more than 400 joeys as part of its disease-free insurance population.

Some of them have been returned to Tasmania while others have been or will be introduced to the mainland.

The process of reintroducing animals to areas in which they were previously endemic is known as “rewilding” and has been steadily gaining interest around the world.

 

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Tasmanian return to the mainland after extinct 3000 years ago

 

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