By Steve Dellar  |  04-29-2018   News
Photo credit: @Tas_Land | Twitter

A group of international scientists has been able to find a healthy pack of Tasmanian devils which have been able to live without being struck by a disease that had brought the iconic animal’s species to the brink of extinction.

Thanks to a crowdfunding campaign, a joint effort by the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program, the University of Sydney and Toledo Zoo from Ohio in the US, a group of scientists went on a trek for 8 days and was able to explore the wilderness sites across Wreck Bay and Nye Bay, looking for healthy Tasmanian devils.

<blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">In nature, there are few creatures as elegant &amp; graceful as the Tasmanian devil… <a href="https://t.co/9wOVSViHXp">pic.twitter.com/9wOVSViHXp</a></p>&mdash; David Hamilton (@davidghamilton1) <a href="https://twitter.com/davidghamilton1/status/990140940667965440?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 28, 2018</a></blockquote>

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In the past few years, some 80% of the species had been wiped out due to the spread of infectious cancer called the Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD).

Dr Sam Fox, the team's leader and the adjunct biologist to Toledo Zoo, stated: "The 14 individual devils trapped were in good condition.,"

"And more importantly, there were no signs of disease. Overall the results show that the population in this area of the south-west coast is small and healthy."

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Scientists working to save the Tasmanian devil from extinction say they&#39;ve found 14 of the animals free from the deadly Devil Facial Tumour Disease, after setting traps in the state&#39;s remote south-west <a href="https://t.co/W2bq2ceuNK">https://t.co/W2bq2ceuNK</a> <a href="https://t.co/k7CQQc0D7h">pic.twitter.com/k7CQQc0D7h</a></p>&mdash; ABC Hobart (@abchobart) <a href="https://twitter.com/abchobart/status/990086276400508928?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 28, 2018</a></blockquote>

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The Tasmanian devil is an iconic animal as is it the only carnivorous marsupial of that size. The species once roamed all of Australia but is now only located on the island of Tasmania, probably due to most of the animals being eaten by dingos. In Tasmania itself, the species was struck by a cancerous disease which had wiped out most of the population until the find of these 14 healthy animals.

Dr David Pemberton of the Save The Tasmanian Devil Program was delighted to inform Australia's ABC news network of the "very significant" find.

"Finding devils with fresh genetic diversity gives us opportunities."

Source:

https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/tasmanian-devil-australia-cancer-facial-tumour-disease-marsupial-conservation-a8327081.html

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