Jump to content

Tasmanian Devils Are Back in Australia for the First Time in 3,000 Years


steven36
 Share

Recommended Posts

On Monday, wildlife managers announced that they had brought Tasmanian devils back into the (relative) wilds of the Australian mainland, the first time these creatures will be living there in 3,000 years. It’s an attempt at a two-for-one bank shot to save the ferocious marsupials as well as creatures under assault from feral cats.

 

jG9GVwC.jpg

He scream.

 

The cause of Tasmanian devil’s disappearance from continental Australia is murky, with some evidence tying it overhunting by Indigenous Australians. Other signs point to the introduction of the dingo. Whatever the case, Monday’s news is part of an effort to bring the Tasmanian devil back to its former range. Aussie Ark, the group leading the reintroduction, has released 26 devils into a sanctuary in New South Wales near Barrington Tops National Park.

 

The sanctuary is enclosed and covers nearly 1,000 acres, giving the devils space to roam without impacting native wildlife outside the area. Each marsupial has been outfitted with a radio collar, and camera traps dot the sanctuary. That will allow scientists to study them in a somewhat controlled setting to see how they fare and interact with other wildlife.

 

Australia’s native species have had a rough go of it in recent years; the continent is facing some of the highest extinction rates anywhere on the planet. Climate change has cranked up the heat and led to catastrophic bushfires that resulted in the death of an estimated 3 billion animals. Logging has also reduced habitat. Tasmanian devils are fierce, but they’re unlikely to stop those two threats, though their presence could help lead to more forest protections.

 

tUyBEOT.jpg

 

Tasmanian devils being released into the wild.

 

Where their reintroduction could help, however, is doing battle with the feral cats that have turned the Outback into a buffet. Cats showed up with European settlers and quickly took to murdering everything they could get their claws on. A 2018 paper found cats in the Outback killed 1.8 million reptiles every single day. They also slaughter 316 million birds and 800 million mammals per year. Cats coupled with foxes, another introduced species, have pushed native wildlife to the brink.

 

Researchers have been trying novel solutions, like training native creatures to fear feral cats. But the devil could help do battle with these invasive species, and previous research has suggested reintroduction as a potential way to rebalance ecosystems. Tim Faulkner, the president of Aussie Ark, said in an email that the Tasmanian devils were “regulators” of Australia’s native ecosystems.

 

“The devil fills the ecological niche of scavenger and predator,” he said (while I continued to hum “Regulators” in my head). “It coexists with Australian fauna, especially small mammal/marsupials. Since European settlement in Australia, we’ve lost nearly 40 small mammal [species]. This is as many as the rest of the world combined and the highest rate of extinction on earth. These are mostly because of the feral fox and cat. By rewilding the devil, it can compete against the fox and can in turn help in the protection of other native animals.”

 

iQygb40.jpg

Fierce.

 

The rewilding project could also help the devils themselves. In Tasmania, they’ve been decimated by devil facial tumor disease, a transmissible cancer. The population brought to the mainland are disease-free and suitable to mate without the risk of in-breeding. That essentially makes them a backup population, should devils continue to decline back in Tasmania.

 

The tumor disease has also given researchers a sense of what to expect with cat populations on the mainland. Faulkner said that where devil populations have declined 80% to 90%, “cat numbers have significantly increased. It’s easy to appreciate that healthy Tasmanian devil populations have helped in keeping cat numbers in check.”

 

The rewilding movement has picked up steam in recent years around the world. One of the most prominent examples is wolf reintroduction to Yellowstone 25 years ago. The project is widely viewed as a success. Elk populations have shrunk to levels considered healthy, and that’s set off a number of beneficial impacts throughout the ecosystem, known as a trophic cascade. Researchers have also brought bison back to Illinois in an attempt to recreate the tallgrass prairies that blanketed the U.S. before settlers wiped out the herds and planted monocrops of corn, wheat, and soybeans across the Midwest.

 

There was a much smaller gap between extirpation and reintroduction for those projects. But Faulkner said that 3,000 years is “realistically the ecological ‘blink of an eye,’” and the Tasmanian devil project could yield benefits and insights into how Australia’s once-intact ecosystems functioned. The group said it also plans to bring Indigenous groups into the process down the road, though the role they’ll play is unclear.

 

“Once these first rewilding are successful, we’ll engage with Indigenous groups along with many others to collaborate and achieve bigger and better outcomes,” Faulkner said.

 

Source

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ifketak Khan

It is indeed a good initiative. The beast looks beautiful on its own way and appearance is super ferocious once its open its jaw in full.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

After 3,000 years, Tasmanian devils are returning to Australian mainland

The conservation program has reintroduced a total of 26 devils to mainland Australia.

The conservation program has reintroduced a total of 26 devils to mainland Australia.

 

Eleven Tasmanian devils have been reintroduced to mainland Australia, more than 3,000 years after they died out there.

The carnivorous marsupials have been released into a 400-hectare (988-acre) wildlife sanctuary north of Sydney, New South
 
Wales, Australian NGO Aussie Ark said in a statement.
 
"In 100 years, we are going to be looking back at this day as the day that set in motion the ecological restoration of an entire
 
country," said Tim Faulkner, president of Aussie Ark.
 
"Not only is this the reintroduction of one of Australia's beloved animals, but of an animal that will engineer the entire environment
 
around it, restoring and rebalancing our forest ecology after centuries of devastation from introduced foxes and cats and other
 
invasive predators."
 

 

Tasmanian devils died out on the mainland after the arrival of dingoes and were restricted to the island of Tasmania. However, their

 

numbers suffered another blow from a contagious form of cancer known as Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD), which has killed

 

around 90% of the population since it was discovered in 1996.

 

There are now just 25,000 wild devils left in Tasmania, and Aussie Ark has been working to conserve the species for the past 10
 
years.
 
The team released the 11 devils on September 10, following an earlier trial involving 15 of the marsupials, which means 26
 
Tasmanian devils now live in mainland Australia.
 
Actors Chris Hemsworth and Elsa Pataky help release Tasmanian Devils into the wild on mainland Australia.
Actors Chris Hemsworth and Elsa Pataky help release Tasmanian Devils into the wild on mainland Australia.
 
The devils come from Aussie Ark's breeding program, which has grown from 44 individuals in 2011 to more than 200 today. The
 
team raises the devils using methods that foster natural behaviors, so they have a better chance of survival when released into the
 
wild.
 
"Without Aussie Ark's incredible work and perseverance over all of these years, the recent devil reintroduction would not have
 
been possible and instead of looking forward to the recovery of the species, we would be watching the devil slip into extinction,"
 
said Don Church, president of the Global Wildlife Conservation charity.
 
"This is an incredible example of how to rewild our planet, bringing back the natural systems to the benefit of all life on Earth."
 
Tasmanian devils are the world's largest carnivorous marsupials and are native apex predators. This means their reintroduction will
 
help control populations of feral cats and foxes that hunt other endangered species. Devils are also scavengers, which helps to
 
keep their environment free from disease.
 
Aussie Ark is planning two further reintroductions involving 20 devils each, and it will also reintroduce other cornerstone species
 
into the wildlife sanctuary as part of a plan to rewild the environment.
 
The team will track the animals using radio collars, camera traps and regular surveys to find out how they are faring.
 
Faulkner hailed the project as a ray of hope after Australia's devastating 2019-20 wildfire season, which killed around three billion
 
animals.
 
"This is our response to that threat of despair: come what may, ultimately we will not be deterred in our efforts to put an end to
 
extinction and to rewild Australia," he said.
 
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tasmanian Devil

English
EDIT
 
 SHARE

 
D3C34385-C41E-4E4C-8923-C81CB2C50E23  
Tasmanian Devil
Background information
Species: Tasmanian Devil
Gender: Male
Debut appearance: "Devil May Hare" (1954)
Created by: Robert McKimson
Sid Marcus[1]
Portrayed by: Mel Blanc (1953-1983)
Joe Alaskey (-2016)
Noel Blanc (Tiny Toon Adventures, 1 episode only)
Jim Cummings (1991-2020 and 2 episodes in Animaniacs)
Dee Bradley Baker (Space Jam)
Brendan Fraser (Looney Tunes: Back in Action)
Jeff Bergman (Tiny Toon Adventures)
Ian James Corlett (Baby Looney Tunes)
Maurice LaMarche (Tiny Toon Adventures, 1 episode only)
Greg Burson (Tiny Toon Adventures, 1 episode only)
Eric Bauza (Looney Tunes World of Mayhem)
Fred Tatasciore (Looney Tunes Cartoons)
[Source]

The Tasmanian Devil, often shortened to Taz, is a Looney Tunescharacter.

Contents

[show]

Origin 

Robert McKimson designed the character after the real-life Tasmanian devil, an animal native to Australia, and the Tennessee Top of American folklore; however, the only real resemblance between the real-life marsupial and Robert

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...