Tasmanian Devil joeys have been born in the wild on the Australian mainland for the first time in more than 3,000 years.
The reintroduction of Tassie Devils on the mainland is thanks to animal preservation group Aussie Ark, in partnership with Re:wild and WildArk.
In late 2020, the team at Aussie Ark released 26 adult Tasmanian devils into a wildlife sanctuary in NSW, seven of those being reproductive females. Australian actor Chris Hemsworth was a part of the project and was there when they released the animals into the wild.
Tim Faulkner, president of Aussie Ark said:
“We have been working tirelessly for the better part of 10 years to return devils to the wild of mainland Australia with the hope that they would establish a sustainable population. Once they were back in the wild, it was up to them, which was nerve-wracking. We had been watching them from afar until it was time to step in and confirm the birth of our first wild joeys. And what a moment it was!”
A total of seven Tasmanian devil joeys were born at the 1,000-acre wild sanctuary and Aussie Ark estimates that up to 20 joeys may be born in 2021. Pouch checks show that the baby devils are in perfect health.
There are just 25,000 devils living in the wild in Tasmania. The animals haven't lived on the mainland in over 3,000 years. They vanished from the mainland of Australia as they were hunted by introduced dingoes. Dingoes never made it to Tasmania therefore they survived. The Tasmanian devils were also wiped out by a fatal disease called Devil Facial Tumour Disease, the only known contagious cancer. It decimated up to 90% of wild Tasmanian Devils.
Learn more and get involved at https://www.aussieark.org.au/get-involved/
Images: (Supplied by Aussie Ark)