By Sarah Pritchard
Devils@Cradle; Cradle Mountain’s sanctuary for Tasmanian devils and other marsupials, has increased it’s protection of the endangered species.
Spending $200,000, the sanctuary now uses infrared cameras, better fences and larger areas for the resident animals.
These measures are to protect the Tasmanian devils from a highly contagious disease, that spreads very quickly through the wild population, who’s numbers are estimated at 30,000.
Devil Face Tumour Disease, or DFTD, causes lesions on the face, which grow into cancerous tumours, spreading through the rest of the body, causing problems in feeding and unborn devils, usually leading to death within a few months.
The disease is spread through biting and due to lack of genetic diversity, is not recognized as a threat, to each individual devils immune system.
In the absence of a definite cure, the sanctuary is working in a nation wide program, to grow an “insurance” population, one that is healthy and genetically diversified.
Devil@Cradle is a sanctuary for endangered marsupials, located next to the World heritage listed, Cradle Mountain National Park.
The sanctuary is committed to save the Tasmanian devil, working through three programs. Firstly the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program, or STTDP, facilitates visits to the park and information to raise awareness of the plight of the Tasmanian Devil.
Secondly the Field Monitoring Program, or FMP, which collects data from all available sources including remote cameras, road kill surveys and information from the community.
Lastly through the Orphan Rehabilitation Program, or ORP, the sanctuary nurses orphan devils with an aim to reintroduce them into the wild.
They also house and protect the Eastern Quoll and the Spotted-Tail Quoll and are hoping to introduce 8 more Tasmanian devils to the site in November.
Photos via Devils@Cradle
Sarah Pritchard is a new Canberra writer. She has recently completed a Graduate Diploma in Professional Writing and she now writes for a few online magazines including her own blog called Girl House Problems. Sarah is always interested in improving living conditions for animals.