Efforts to save the iconic Tassie Devil received a boost today with the announcement of a further $500,000 in Australian Government funding.
This investment will support the release of captive-bred devils to rebuild wild populations that have suffered from the devastating impact of the fatal Devil Facial Tumour Disease.
This latest funding forms the final part of the Australian Government’s $3.3 million three-year investment in the Save the Tasmanian Devil Programme and will be provided to the Tasmanian Government in support of work by the Devil Island Projects Group.
The $500,000 will fund the construction of three kilometres of transportable enclosures to aid the release of devils into identified Wild Devil Recovery Zones.
These enclosures will provide Devils with up to 64 hectares of semi-wild habitat where they can learn natural behaviour prior to their release into the wild, safe from the risk of infection.
The funding will also help build an additional two permanent enclosures to house Devils while they receive trial immunisation treatments to increase their resistance to the facial tumour.
By 2018 the aim is for the programme to release 16 immunised Tasmanian Devils every three months.
The Australian Government had recognised the importance of prioritising research and preventative actions to save the Tassie Devil from potential extinction in the wild.
I’m pleased to see that this investment is delivering results. We have assisted with the removal of diseased devils across the Forestier and Tasman Peninsulas in south-east Tasmania, and supported the reintroduction of 39 healthy devils to begin the process of repopulation.
And a further 250 healthy devils have been successfully bred under the programme.
The transportable fencing will be deployed in August in the Stony Head Ranges, followed by Mount William National Park.