North-west devils continue to thrive
Populations of Tasmanian devils in the far north-west of the State continue to thrive without any evidence of being affected by the Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD), monitoring trips in late 2009 revealed.
Dr Samantha Fox, a wildlife biologist with the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program, said that some of the animals they observed were nearly seven years old - well beyond the average life expectancy of five to six years.
"It's important to see that it's not all doom and gloom for the species," Sam said. "What was wonderful to observe was not just the abundance of Tasmanian devils in the far north-west, but also their health."
The team trapped, monitored and released 107 Tasmanian devils during a seven-day trip on the Woolnorth property. Forty-three of these animals had been captured on previous trips and 64 were new animals.
"Data such as this is an important part of informing our current and future management decisions," Sam said.
"Significant populations such as these could be integral to measures that further enhance the insurance population of animals we have insitu."
Woolnorth property manager Brent Anstis said the company had been involved with the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program for nearly five years. He said they found the monitoring data helpful to them as well.
"The Tasmanian devil plays an important role in the landscape here by maintaining farm hygiene," Brent said. "It's encouraging for us to see that the local devil population is doing well because we feel it's a reflection of our management actions on the property."