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.
Fortescue Bay Road and campground to re-open tomorrow
All Tasman and Mt Field national park tracks have re-opened, with the Fortescue Bay Road and campground set to re-open tomorrow morning.
Tasman National Park – all tracks have now re-opened.
The Fortescue Bay Road and campground will re-open at 10am Saturday, 19 January 2013.
Mount Field National Park – all tracks and the campground are open. The Government Huts are now open as well.
Southwest National Park: a very large fire continues to affect the area between Port Davey and Lake Pedder. Closed tracks include: Western and Eastern Arthurs tracks, the Port Davey Track, Old Port Davey Track, Junction Creek Track, Arthur Plains Track, Cracroft Valley Track, Blakes Opening - Huon Track, Farmhouse Creek and the Old River traverse. The Huon and Edgar campgrounds remain closed.
Southwest National Park: The Scotts Peak Road, Mt Anne Circuit and Lake Judd Track are open. The South Coast Track is open. Access is still available to Melaleuca, however visitors are advised not to travel north of Melaleuca.
For the latest information on bushfires, go to the Tasmania Fire Service website www.fire.tas.gov.au or listen to your local ABC radio.