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Three Capes Track update


Tasmania's national parks remain open and accessible to all Tasmanians.More

Bookings open for Three Capes Track


Tasmania's newest exciting tourism venture, the Three Capes Track, officially opens for bookings today with visitors set to enjoy the world class attraction in time for Christmas.More

Strong demand for Overland Track bookings


The popularity of the iconic Overland Track continues to grow with a big increase in the number of bookings for the next walking season compared to last year.More

Bringing Devils Back into the Tasmanian Wild

Twenty healthy devils were released back into the wild at Narawntapu National Park (NNP) in northern Tasmania, vaccinated with a potentially game changing vaccine against the Devil Facial Tumour Disease.

This field trial will test the immunisation response against DFTD to help refine and develop more effective vaccination techniques.

Re-wilding through insurance population animals is an important part of the program as it assists in increasing the genetic diversity of suppressed wild populations as well as directly increasing numbers.

The animals released at NNP will join existing devils already living in the park. Save The Tasmanian Devil Program staff will return two weeks after the release, then four weeks, then eight and then 12 weeks later to monitor the devil population.

The 20 devils (11 males and 9 females) come from an Insurance Population housed in Free Range Enclosures (FREs) at Bicheno and Launceston.

This field trial is a tangible step in the journey to bring the devil back into the Tasmanian wild; the next milestone will be to see them start breeding in the wild and thus further ensuring their chances of survival into the future.

This is an important step in ensuring the Tasmanian devil’s long term survival in the wild. This program is about re-establishing and boosting wild populations in Tasmania.

Significant advances in the Insurance Population and work to protect isolated devil populations have enabled the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program (STDP) to develop and commence this next step in the species' conservation.

It is part of the Wild Devil Recovery Project that places emphasis on population monitoring, field research and testing of possible vaccines and immunisation techniques, resulting in the implementation of work to manage wild devil populations.

The Tasmanian devil, as a species, is now more secure than it has been at any time during the past decade due to the outstanding success of the Insurance Population program.

However the devil continues to face serious ongoing challenges to its survival in the wild. That is why the Tasmanian Government is redoubling its efforts in facilitating further research into the Devil Facial Tumour Disease as well toward the development of effective vaccines. 

The release of the healthy devils is an important new phase in ongoing efforts to save this iconic species, the Tasmanian devil, in the wild. We owe it to this precious and iconic species to secure a strong, disease free future in its natural setting, where it belongs – in the wild.

The Wild Devil Recovery Project is a joint initiative between the Menzies Institute for Medical Research and the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program (STDP) and is supported through funding from the Tasmanian Government.

Devils adapting to new island home


Fifteen Tasmanian devils are settling into their new environment on Maria Island after being released yesterday.

The Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage, Brian Wightman, said the release of the disease-free devils on the island refuge marked a very significant milestone in the conservation of the species.

"Initial reports from wildlife biologists managing the release are very positive," Mr Wightman said.

"The devils have left the three separate release sites and all is well.

"Preparing and transferring the devils to Maria Island was a major operation and the release team is very pleased with the way things went," he said.

Mr Wightman said the project required extensive planning, including early risk assessments and regulatory approvals, by the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program, as well as cooperation from the Parks and Wildlife Service, various divisions of the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, and the Zoo and Aquarium Association which identified genetically suitable animals.

The aim of relocating the devils to Maria Island is to establish a self-sustaining population of healthy wild devils in a safe haven where they are protected from interaction with the deadly facial tumour disease. It is planned to release approximately 50 devils over the next two years.

Save the Tasmanian Devil Program Director Howel Williams said the devils and their impact on the overall ecology of Maria Island would be monitored and assessed over coming weeks.

"If all goes according to plan, the next consignment of devils will be released next year," Dr Williams said.

"All animals chosen for this translocation program are assessed for appropriate behavioural traits before being considered for this founding population on the island.

"They are health checked and screened for diseases and pathogens," he said.

The Save the Tasmanian Devil Program is a joint initiative between the Australian and Tasmanian Governments to ensure the long term survival of the Tasmanian devil in the wild. The Australian Government has committed $10 million over five years to the program.

Devils adapting to new island home

Members of the Aboriginal community conducted a welcome to country ceremony, including the traditional smoking ceremony, to welcome the devils to Maria Island. Devil team member Phil Wise (left) with one of the devils in its trap.

Devils adapting to new island home

After arriving safely on the ferry the devils were loaded for the last part of the trip to the release sites on the island.

Devils adapting to new island home

A hide was set up to allow media, including a documentary film crew, to film the devils' release with the minimum disruption to the animals.

Devils adapting to new island home

DPIPWE photographer and editor of Tasmania Regions, was on hand to document the release.

Devils adapting to new island home

The traps being distributed at the release site.

Devils adapting to new island home

And it's into the wild for this fortunate devil.