• Tasmanian Devils

Why are Tasmanian Devils endangered?

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βˆ™ 2013-09-29 10:03:53

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The Tasmanian Devil has only recently been classified as "endangered". Up until 2008, this marsupial was listed as "vulnerable" - that has now changed.

The Tasmanian Devil used to cover all of Australia but now it is limited to Tasmania. The arrival of the Dingo may have caused their extinction on the mainland, probably because they would have competed for the same food, and fossil evidence indicates that mainland Tasmaan devils were much smaller than their Tasmanian counterparts.

The Tasmanian Devil is endangered for a number of reasons, and one of them is because the farmers believed that it ate large numbers of livestock and poultry, and used to hunt it. (This is also why the Thylacine, or Tasmanian tiger died out.)

Other reasons include that they are often hit by cars as they feed on other road-killed animals. Some of the Tasmanian devils have been placed in protective captivity so humans and/or other animals cannot kill or hurt them.

Devil Facial Tumour Disease is rife at present and is another reason for keeping them in captivity. DFTD causes facial lesions which increase in size until the Tasmanian devil can no longer eat, and becomes susceptible to infections. DFTD has killed more than 90% of adults in high density areas and 45% of adults in medium to low density areas. At present, no Devils are being taken into captivity with existing captive animals in the hope that the current captive ones will be kept safe from the spread of this disease. The disease spreads through biting - and this is very common in Devils as they are natural fighters, battling tooth and claw for every morsel of food. Only the western third of Tasmania is currently free of the disease. 60% of the state is affected.

Currently there is no cure for the disease, and scientists estimate that unless the disease can be stopped in some way, Tasmanian Devils will be extinct within two decades. The Devils seem to be particularly vulnerable to this because of their genetic makeup: they have particularly low levels of genetic diversity and a chromosomal mutation which is unique among carnivorous mammals. It is hoped that, by studying this genetic makeup, scientists will be able to develop a vaccine and/or cure.

In January 2010, scientists isolated the genetic marker for the disease, and this is a big step towards finding a cure. Also, scientists have recently reported promising results in cancer cures from a drug manufactured from a certain type of brushwood in the North Queensland tropical rainforests. This has worked successfully in trials on cancerous tumours in cats, dogs and horses, and as well as being hoped to be a potential cure in human cancers, it is also hoped to be able to be used against DFTD. A number of groups have combined to fund, study, analyse and come up with a cure for DFTD. You can find out more about it or assist by going to the attached Web Page and selecting one of the options.

As the Devil numbers decrease, fox numbers are increasing. These introduced animals hunt and eat young Devils, and if the Devil numbers drop too low then there is little hope that the population will ever recover - those remaining will be destroyed by the foxes.

2013-09-29 10:03:53
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Related Questions

When were the Tasmanian Devils added to the endangered species list?

Tasmanian devils were officially added to the endangered species list in 2008.

Are Tasmanian devils vulnerable?

Tasmanian devils have been classified as endangered since 2008.

Are there any female Tasmanian Devils?

Of course. If there were no female Tasmanian devils, they could not reproduce. Tasmanian devils may be endangered, but they are also a viable species.

Why are the Tasmanian devils extinct?

Tasmanian Devils are not extinct (unlike the Thylacine, or Tasmanian Tiger).However, the Tasmanian Devil has only recently been classified as "endangered".

How much does a Tasmanian devil cost?

Tasmanian devils are endangered native animals of Australia, and as such are protected by law. You cannot purchase one.

Do Tasmanian devils migerate?

Tasmanian devils do NOT migerate!

Are Tasmanian devils placental?

No. Tasmanian devils are marsupials.

Where are Tasmanian devils endangered?

Tasmanian devils are found only in the wild in Tasmania, Australia's southern island state, but they are listed as endangered both domestically and internationally. In Tasmania, they are "endangered" under the Threatened Species Protection Act 1995. Internationally, they are listed as "endangered" on the 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Do Tasmanian devils breed?

Of course Tasmanian devils breed. If they didn't, there would be no Tasmanian devils left today. Tasmanian devils are mammals, which are vertebrates. All vertebrates breed.

What category is the Tasmanian Devil in?

It is an Australian marsupial, of the group of carnivorous marsupials knowns as dasyurids. Tasmanian Devils were listed as "endangered" in May 2008.

What is a group of Tasmanian devils called?

There is no specific collective term for a group of Tasmanian devils. Tasmanian devils are solitary animals. At most, an area where numerous Tasmanian devils live is called a colony.

Do Tasmanian devils hunt in packs?

No. Tasmanian devils tend to be solitary hunters, although they may feed with other Tasmanian devils.

Do people eat Tasmanian devils?

No. People do not eat Tasmanian devils.

Are Tasmanian devils amphibians or marsupials?

Tasmanian devils are marsupials of Australia.

Do Tasmanian devils live together?

No. Tasmanian devils are solitary creatures.

Why do Tasmanian devils attack humans?

Tasmanian devils do not attack humans.

Where did the Tasmanian Devils live before they were classified endangered?

From the time of European settlement up to the present, Tasmanian devils have only ever been known on the island of Tasmania? this includes before they were placed on e endangered species list. Fossil evidence indicates that the Tasmanian devil once lived on the mainland as well. These mainland species were smaller than their Tasmanian counterparts.

How many Tasmanian devils were there in 2010?

There are no current figures for Tasmanian devil numbers. The most recent figures are from 2009, the year that the Tasmanian devil was listed as an "endangered" species. Figures from late 2009 indicate that, in recent decades, the Tasmanian Devil's population has dropped by 70% to an estimated 45,000 - 50,000 Tasmanian Devils in the wild.

Can Tasmanian devils get sick?

Tasmanian devils can certainly get sick. Tasmanian Devils are threatened by a fatal form of cancer called Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) which is transmitted between Tasmanian devils by biting.

Why did Tasmanian people stop hunting and trapping Tasmanian devils?

Tasmanian devils became protected by law in June 1941. After this, it became illegal to hunt or trap Tasmanian devils.

Can Tasmanian devils be hunted?

Tasmanian devils may not be hunted. They are protected by law.

Can Tasmanian devils blink their eyes?

Yes, Tasmanian devils can blink their eyes.

Do Tasmanian devils have a tail?

Yes. Tasmanian devils have short, stumpy tails.

Do Tasmanian devils Live in packs?

No. Tasmanian devils tend to be solitary animals.

Are Tasmanian devils used for sports?

No. Tasmanian devils are certainly not used for sports.