Wild Devil Recovery Project - Field Update 2
The Save the Tasmanian Devil Program (STDP) is pleased to report that after two weeks of selecting, transporting and releasing Tasmanian devils, the translocation phase of the Wild Devil Recovery Project into the wukalina/Mount William area is now complete.
33 wild Tasmanian devils from Maria Island have now been released. Some of the released devils were fitted with GPS collars which have been providing fascinating data on their movements.
Over to Dr David Pemberton, Manager of the STDP to explain further:
‘What we usually find is that devils show three different types of behavior once released. We have the ‘stayers’ who like to stay close to the release area, the ‘dispersers’ who take the opportunity to run and find a new home far from the release area and then we have the ‘commuters’.
These devils like to check out their new surroundings before making a decision on where to settle. This can involve them travelling many kilometers as they loop around the release area, in fact the GPS readings of one of the released devils Kwasi has shown he has been circling around Musselroe over several days and one night actually stopped by the house where the STDP staff were staying!’
Our team have also spent some time visiting and talking to local residents about the release, the likely movements of the released devils, and what they may expect with increased numbers in the area. A special thanks to Jackie in Musselroe who gave up her Saturday afternoon last weekend to walk around the community and introduce STDP staff to other residents.
Media interest in the release has kept us busy with lots of requests from local, national and international media to speak to team members - including the BBC.
We would also like to take this opportunity to remind people that Tasmanian devils can travel up to 20km in one night so released devils may travel to Ansons Bay, Blue Tier, Gladstone or as far as Cape Portland.
Everyone can help by taking care while driving at night and slowing down between dusk and dawn.
Tasmanian devils are very hard to see against a black road surface, particularly when it is wet. We also encourage people to report any devil sightings to the Devil Hotline 0427 733 511 (remembering that released devils have a bleach mark on their back to make them more visible).
Thanks again to the many organisations and individuals who have assisted us with this project from the planning and preparation through to the translocation, we really appreciate your support.
Dr Sam Fox, Wild Devil Recovery Project Manager, said the program will now start the three month post-release monitoring phase and will continue to provide updates on the devils as they settle into their new home.
We hope you enjoy this small selection of photos taken during the translocation phase of the project:
Dr Carolyn Hogg from the University of Sydney and
Wildlife Biologist Phil Wise Tasmanian devil being checked for
selection Monarto Zoo keeper Simon Dower and Wild Devil Recovery
from the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program
selecting devils from the insurance Manager Dr Sam Fox
population on Maria Island for
translocation to wukalina/Mount William
Tasmanian devils being loaded onto the ferry at
Darlington, Maria Island Maria Island Translocation Team on
their last day Dr Ruth Pye from Menzies Institute for Medical
Research, Dr David
Pemberton and David Schaap from the Save the Tasmanian Devil
Program unloading devils at wukalina/Mount William
Tasmanian devil undergoing a vet check at
wukalina/Mount William Dr Ruth Pye from Menzies Institute for Medical
Research immunising Tasmanian devil being fitted with a GPS
a Tasmanian devil
wukalina/Mount William Translocation Team Processed Tasmanian devil all ready for release into
wukalina/Mount Tasmanian devil caught on surveillance camera in one
of the purpose built
William area pens as part of the soft release trial
Wildlife Biologist Drew Lee from the
Save the Tasmanian Devil Program Tasmanian devil prints on Ocean’s Beach, Maria Island Dr Judy Clarke, Jodie Elmer and Karen Fagg from
loading devils onto the plane on Maria Island the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program processing devils at wukalina/Mount William
Dr David Pemberton, Manager of the Save the Tasmanian A quick stop on the side of the road for an interview Downloading readings from GPS collars
Devil Program opening the gate of the purpose built pen with the BBC - Dr David Pemberton, Manager of the
as part of the soft
release trial Save the Tasmanian Devil Program