VIDEO: Healthy devils ready for release
Devils bred at Barrington Tops, NSW, must undergo rigorous health checks before they can be released into a disease-free area of Tasmania.
HEALTHY TASMANIAN DEVILS bred as part of a safety population at Barrington Tops, NSW, are being prepared for release into Tasmania.
Devil Ark, a purpose-built breeding facility, is preparing 22 devils for release onto Forestier Peninsula, a part of Tasmania that remains free of Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD), the cancer that has decimated wild populations.
Before devils can be transported back to the wild, each individual has to be trapped, combed for seeds and ticks, given vaccines, and given a final health check by a vet.
Safety population of Tasmanian devils
This will be the first group from Devil Ark to be release into this area, in an attempt to increase genetic diversity and bring the species back from the brink.
In just four years Devil Ark has gone from 44 devils to over 150, in part because the habitat and climate of Barrington Tops is similar to Tasmania.
Devils interact with each other much as they would in the wild, coming together to share a meal but otherwise keeping to themselves. During meal times, devils become vocal and while it may sound unfriendly, it’s mainly posturing: each devil wants the best bits of carrion.