The Tassie Devil – It´s the little things which always cause the problems


Unfortunately this little thing has a name it is called DFTD (devil facial tumour desease) and it is a mysterious desease which startet roughly in 1996 in the north east and killed approximately 65% of the population of Tassie Devils. They expect that this race will be extincted until the next 10 to 20 years. After the Thylacine (Tasmanian Tiger or Marsupial Wolf) was wiped out through human influence in the wild in 1930, the last species died in the zoo of Hobart in 1936. Now the Tasmanian Devil is the largest carnivore marsupial beside the Quolls. By the way supposed sightings of the Tiger are not confirmed by now and every serious expedition did not find a single proof fort he surviving of that species. There are only a few unsharp photos, but no realk hint.

But back to the Devils. Though the Devil only exist in Tasmania, which was isolated since thousands of years (the was a land bridge) the genetic pool of the Devils is quite small. They know today, that the Devil lived in Western Australia and Victoria as well in former times. But nobody knows exactly why the Devil lost its genetic diversity. .That means most of the animals are very similar genetically spoken, because they can only interact with a restricted amount of potential partners. The less animals which are naturally more divers in their genetic pool are more immune against this desease than the others. But they are not enough to ensrue the survival of that specie. For the desease it means it spreads very quickly. For example it is enough when two devils meet up and will bite each other. That means they are infected. And biting is kind of natural behavoius fort hese animals. The desease starts then at the jaws and spread all over the face, finally it leads to death.
The Devils are non territorial, that means when they looking for prey in the night they can walk about 50km, which increases the danger of meeting some other devils and infecting them. People now try to catch wild devils and isolate them in quarantine stations, for ensuring the survival of that race. They try to find out, if the devils are infected, if not they come in an enclosure with other healthy devils. By now there is no diagnosis to check if a devil is infected or not, as long the desease has not broke visibly out. That means the research get a bit stuck. Origin and a remedy as well, are totally unknown in these days.

Weh ad the opportunity to visit such an enclosure in order to see a few living Devils. Entry fees and donations go into the research, isolation and the breeding of young Devils.

The only Devils which we found in the wild were dead young devils on the road. They try to find some carcass and do not react so fast on the approaching traffic. To observe a Devil in the wild is today a very difficult and lucky thing.




We would recommend following site for those who wants to experience more or donate for pojects