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Hope for the Tasmanian devil

Hope for the Tasmanian devil

emily
Anaspides photography Iain D Williams 

If you thought the Tasmanian devil was an imaginary spooky creature or a crazy cartoon character - remember Taz?! - then think again! These mysterious creatures are very real, but sadly a disease is threatening their survival on the Australian island of Tasmania, which the dog-sized marsupials call home. 

 

Known for their loud screeching, which helped give them their scary name, Tasmanian devils are now endangered, after an infectious disease which causes tumours in the animals has claimed 60% of their population over the last 10 years. 

But, strangely, the lucky devils in one area of the island seem to be immune from the disease, which scientists see as a symbol of hope for the species. Several colonies of disease-free devils are being closely observed and captive breeding programmes are also underway to try and help maintain the population. Let's hope scientists can find a cure to save these very special creatures soon.

 

Find out more about how you can help the Tasmanian devils here

 

Did you know?

 

The Tasmanian devils' whiskers help them locate prey in the dark and they have one of the strongest bites in the animal kingdom - ouch!