Tasmanian devils with large facial tumours were photographed in north-east
Tasmania during 1996 by Christo Baars. A decade later, we know these characteristics are
consistent with Devil Facial
Tumour Disease (DFTD).
The first clinical confirmation was a devil collected in 1997 near Waterhouse Point.
In September 2006, Devil Facial Tumour Disease was gazetted under the
Animal Health Act as a List B notifiable disease.
In May 2009, the Federal Government uplisted the Tasmanian devil to the Endangered category under the Commonwealth’s
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
The Tasmanian devil’s status was formally upgraded to Endangered
under Tasmania’s Threatened Species
Protection Act 1995, in May 2008.
In late 2008, the Tasmanian devil was also uplisted to Endangered on the Red List of the International
Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) –
widely considered the most authoritative system for classifying species in
terms of their risk of extinction.
The Tasmanian devil is now wholly protected.
Populations in which DFTD has been observed for several years have declined by
up to 95% according to spotlight surveys (this is approximate, due to low
sample size in recent years).