World News – UA – Tasmanian demons freed on mainland Australia


Tasmanian demons have been released into the wild on mainland Australia 3,000 years after the fiery marsupials disappeared there, in what environmentalists yesterday described as a « historic » Aussie Ark milestone, along with a coalition of other conservation groups, revealed yesterday that they had released 26 of the carnivorous mammals at a 400-acre sanctuary in Barrington Tops, about 35 hours north of Sydney, Aussie Ark chairman Tim Faulkner said the « historic » outings in July and September were the first steps in a project similar to the successful decision to return the wolves to Yellowstone National Park in the United States in the 1990sAfter 16 years of work, including setting up the largest Tasmanian devil breeding program in mainland Australia, Faulkner said it was « amazing and surreal » to have achieved the goal. »This is the stuff that dreams are made of, » he says, « Our biggest native predator on the continent is the tiger quoll – and they are a little over a kilo – so bringing back something of this enormity is huge »Tasmanian devils, which weigh up to eight kilograms and have black or brown coats, typically feed on other native animals or scavenge carcasses. According to government environmental authorities, the demons are not dangerous to humans or livestock , but will defend themselves if attacked and can cause serious injuryThe animals – known for their extremely loud growls, powerful jaws, and fierceness when confronting rivals over food or mates – are classified as endangered after a contagious disease from a facial tumor sets in. ravaged the remaining population of the Australian island state of TasmaniaIt is estimated that fewer than 25,000 Tasmanian demons still live in the wild, up from 150,000 before the mysterious deadly disease first struck in the mid-1990sOn the Australian mainland, they were said to have been wiped out by packs of dingoes – wild dogs native to the vast continent – around 3,000 years agoFaulkner said he hoped the project would create an « insurance population » against the facial tumor disease, which has so far proven incurable, and help restore the native environment. « Demons present one of the only natural solutions to controlling the fox and the cat, and the fox and the cat are responsible for almost all of our 40 mammal extinctions (in Australia), » he added. »So there’s more than the devil at stake here » Aussie Ark selected the reintroduced demons for their breeding ability, placing them in the large fenced area in hopes of warding off threats to their survival, including wild pests. , harmful weeds and cars »We put in healthy young devils, we put them in now, which gives them the best of six months to settle down, find their territory (and) prepare for breeding » which usually takes place in February, Faulkner said 40 more are expected to be released over the next two years at the sanctuary, which sits on land purchased by Aussie Ark for its suitable habitat, high herbivore numbers and location near a national park »The land was chosen initially because it’s like a slice of Tasmania, » said Faulkner. He said he is convinced that close monitoring as Tasmanian devils make the « massive transition » back to nature – where they have no food, water or shelter for the first time in their life – would ensure the rapid success of the programAs part of the « ambitious » reforestation program, Aussie Ark plans to eventually introduce more animals into unfenced areas, where they will face a much wider range of new threats, including the infamous bush fires. from the country

Tasmanian Devil, Tasmania, Continental Australia, Chris Hemsworth, Elsa Pataky, Marsupials

World News – UA – Tasmanian Devils freed on the Australian continent


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