These past few months, we have had our crews out working with the Save the Tasmanian Devil team, undertaking devil habitat improvements and camera trap monitoring on the Tasman Peninsula. The captive bred devil release site is located in southern Tasmania and is playing a vital role in providing a safe haven for facial tumour free devils to be introduced or reintroduced into the wild.
There are thirty sites across the peninsula that have infra-red, motion activated cameras set up for a duration of 2 weeks every year to capture photographs. These photos are then analysed to identify individual devils and help determine if the population is healthy and growing.
When reviewing the photos, we look closely at the devils’ white blazes, as they are all unique and assist us in identifying individuals. Each photograph is also reviewed closely to look for any signs of devil facial tumour disease and we are happy to report that all the devils we photographed were tumour free and we even identified some individuals who have never been seen before, meaning that the devils are successfully breeding.
The data we collect as part of this project is crucial in helping the Save the Devil team understand how well captive bred devils are adapting to life in the wild and will allow for early intervention, should devil facial tumour disease take hold on the Tasman Peninsula.
This project forms part of our national threatened species program, Wild Futures.
For this monitoring program to see ongoing success and allow for effective management and early intervention, it is crucial that it is conducted annually. We are seeking support to continue this important citizen science project.
To find out how you can support this program or find out more about Wild Futures please contact us at [email protected]