Last year, 26 adult carnivorous marsupials at a sanctuary in Barrington Tops, north Sydney. It marked the first step in their attempt to establish a sustainable population of the endangered species, which has been wiped out by the disease in its remaining habitat on the island of Tasmania.
They hoped that their efforts, more than a decade in the making, would lead to similar success.United States National Park in the 1990s.
“There is so much at stake here. We’ve done all we can, but if the demons don’t breed, it’s over, ”Aussie Ark Conservation Group Chairman Tim Faulkner said in a statement.
Researchers have been studying the ferocious animals from afar since their release. This week, they celebrated the birth of seven devilish Tasmanian joeys in the nearly 1,000-acre Barrington Wildlife Sanctuary.
The Rangers inspected the pockets of the females and found the tiny joeys “in perfect health,” Aussie Ark said. They plan to do additional checkups in the coming weeks.
Tasmanian devils, which weigh up to 18 pounds as adults and are generally not dangerous to humans, completely disappeared from the Australian mainland after the introduction of dingoes, a type of wild dog that hunt in packs.
The remaining population of the island state of Tasmania was devastated by a contagious and deadly disease known as Devil’s Facial Tumor Disease, which first struck in the mid-1990s. It killed around 90 years. % of the population and there are now less than 25,000.
“It’s crucial to have a demon population away from the ailing Tasmanian landscape,” Faulkner said. Environmentalists are delighted with the progress made so far.
“This does not bode well for this endangered species, but also for the many other endangered species that can be saved if we reconnect with Australia, the country with the worst rate of extinction in the world. mammals in the world, ”said Don Church, president of the Re: wild group.
Aussie Ark plans to release more Tasmanian Devils into the Sanctuary, as well as Quolls, Bandicoots, and Rock Wallabies. Eventually, conservationists hope to introduce them to unfenced areas.
“The demons didn’t just survive, they thrived, every one of them,” Faulkner said. “We saw them establishing territories, we observed interactions, two sisters came back together and started living together, and we saw them reproduce. ”