Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) is a rare infectious cancer that is spreading through wild Tasmanian devil populations. The Australian and Tasmanian Governments have become partners in an initiative, known as the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program, with the mandate to investigate the disease and identify management options.
The core activity of the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program is funded by the Australian and Tasmanian Governments and is overseen by a Steering Committee. The Program is co-ordinated by the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE). It focuses on on-ground management activity as well as applied research. The department also facilitates and supports research and contributions by other organisations, including the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the University of Tasmania, University of Queensland, University of Sydney, Murdoch University, Landcare Research (New Zealand), and wildlife parks and zoos.
The Tasmanian devil has been listed as Endangered by the Federal and State governments, as well as the Red List of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). The Tasmanian devil is now wholly protected. Find out more...
Key areas of focus
The Program's aim is to see the Tasmanian devil again thriving in the wild. Our strategy encompasses a range of approaches to provide the species with the best chance of survival. There are four key areas of focus for the program.
- Population monitoring - Gathering data in the field to clarify disease distribution and impacts, and to help determine conservation strategies.
- Disease diagnostics - A laboratory-based investigation of the disease itself, which includes defining the disease, exploring its transmission, the possible causes, and so on. We eagerly anticipate the development of an effective pre-diagnostic test that can be used in the field to detect diseased animals before they become infectious.
- Wild management - Establishing methods for managing the impact of the disease in the wild.
- Insurance Population - To build and maintain an Insurance Population of healthy and genetically robust devils for the next 50 years. These animals may be reintroduced to the wild as necessary.
Find out how you can help the Program.
|The Roadkill Project is about harnessing the support of the community to help us protect and monitor wild devil populations. read more...|
|Now in its third five year phase, the focus of the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program has shifted from ensuring the species survival in captivity to recovery in the wild, and an exciting announcement made about research into a vaccine has brought this closer to reality. read more...|
|The Save the Tasmanian Devil Program (STDP) is now commencing its third stage, coinciding with a five year business planning cycle, and has outlined the goals and targets for the coming five years in its latest Business Plan 2014-19. A major emphasis during this period, beyond maintaining the Insurance Population, will be on wild devil management and the implementation of the recovery plan. Key steps will be to determine the status and trends of wild devil populations and to develop techniques for managing diseased populations. By the end of this period, the Program plans to be managing diseased populations in the wild in Tasmania. read more...|
|An evaluation by the Federal government of the performance of the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program (STDP) against the goals set out in the STDP Business Plan 2008-13, was undertaken in early 2013. The aims were to evaluate the impacts and achievements of the Program, and identify potential legacy contributions to the longer term Program goals. Copies of the final report and the Program's response to its recommendations are provided here. read more...|
|The establishment phase of the Maria Island Devil Translocation Project has been successfully completed with 28 devils released over two years and evidence that the introduced population has bred successfully over the 2013 and 2014 breeding seasons. The focus is now on monitoring the devils, along with the potential impacts of the expanding population on other native species and the Island's ecology. read more...|
|While the threat to the Tasmanian devil due to Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) continues to spread through wild populations in Tasmania, significant advances in the Insurance Population and protecting isolated devil populations, are enabling the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program to commence a new phase in the species' conservation - focussing on recovery in the wild. read more...|
|The Save the Tasmanian Devil Program (STDP) joined with the Zoo and Aquarium Association (ZAA) of Australasia to host a two day ‘Tasmanian Devil Symposium and ZAA Stakeholder Meeting' in Hobart on 30 September to 1 October, 2014. The purpose was to strengthen the existing partnership between the government and zoo industry; providing a forum for leading Australian zoos and wildlife parks involved in the Tasmanian devil Insurance Population program; and facilitating the sharing of the latest information on devil management, conservation strategies and research. read more...|
|Late in September, the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program received a call to the Devil Mobile (0427 733 511) from a member of the public who had picked up a roadkill devil on Sandy Bay Road, close to the Truganini Reserve, Taroona. read more...|
|Over the past 10 months, the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program has been working with a Japanese natural history film company in the production of a 30 minute documentary on the plight of the Tasmanian devil, which is planned to be broadcast on NHK TV in Japan on Sunday 27 July. NHK is equivalent to Australia's ABC and the documentary, which is targeting a Japanese family audience with the Sunday screening, is likely to be viewed by over 10 million people. read more...|
|New Zealand's Auckland Zoo is the latest international zoo to receive a handful of Tasmanian devils under a partnership agreement with the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program's Ambassador devil initiative aimed at raising overseas awareness of the plight of the devil. read more...|