April, 2022

Hi,

Devil facial tumour disease (DFTD) is just one of the challenges facing the Tasmanian devil, another is roadkill. As we shared with you in our last Giving Tuesday appeal, Tasmania is the roadkill capital of the world with 32 animals killed every hour on our roads. That’s almost 300,000 animals per year, including around 350 endangered Tassie devils.

It’s a complex problem but heartening to see solutions proposed including the RFID Roadkill Reducer, the brainwave of University of Tasmania Honours student, Meg Phillips. Meg won the Samsung “Solve for Tomorrow” Prize for her idea which uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags attached to cars to alert animals to approaching vehicles.

We hope to share more about Meg’s exciting project soon.

 

Roadkill Research – seeking participants

Looking at the issue from another angle is UTAS PhD candidate, Ariel Remund, who is adopting a sociological approach to researching roadkill by examining the thoughts, feelings and behaviours of Tasmanians behind the wheel of vehicle-animal collisions. Ariel is seeking interview participants to talk about their experiences with roadkill in Tasmania. Interviews can be conducted face-to-face, over Zoom/Skype, or over the phone and last up to an hour. If this is something that might interest you, you can send her an email at ariel.remund@ut​as.edu.au.

 

DFTD Vaccine Update

While the devil research team continue to make progress in the lab on the vaccine, they have also begun developing edible baits that can be used to distribute the vaccine to devils in the wild. Initial trials showed other species taking the baits before the devils could find them, so the team is now using automated bait dispensers provided by the United States Department of Agriculture to increase bait uptake by devils. Much work remains to be done on the baits, but we now have a solid foundation and great partner organisations to facilitate progress.

 
Pure Foods Carton

Eggstra support for the devils

A big thank you to Pure Foods Eggs, who have just committed to a further three years supporting devil vaccine research. To date, Pure Foods have raised over $400,000 through the sale of their Devil Free Range Eggs in the distinctive black cartons sold throughout Tasmania.

If your business would like to discuss a partnership with the Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal, please contact us devil.appeal@ut​as.edu.au.

 
Devil construction

Skilled volunteers needed

To support upcoming DFTD vaccine trials we are building new purpose-built devil enclosures just outside of Hobart. The devil vaccine team at the Menzies Institute for Medical Research has volunteered over 100 hours salvaging materials for the new pens and we are now looking for skilled people to assist with the construction of the new facility. Please contact andy.flies@utas​.edu.au if you can help for a day or two between April 23-28. Please also contact Andy if you can help with donations of concrete and equipment.

 

A double devil dilemma

Emeritus Professor Greg Woods, who has spent more than 15 years studying DFTD, recently spoke at the Royal Society of Tasmania on the subject of “A double devil dilemma – transmissible cancers in Tasmanian devils”. 

 

Innovative camera network keeps close eye on Tassie wildlife

Researchers at the University of Tasmania have designed and deployed a network of camera traps across the state to monitor our threatened wildlife.

What makes a Tassie devil special?

Is it the devilish noise, the red ears or that they give birth to babies the size of a grain of rice? Our friends at EUGY by dodoland put together a very informative video showing the many things that make a devil special.

 
 

Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal
Private Bag 40
HOBART TAS 7001 | Phone +61 3 6226 1920


devil.appeal@ut​as.edu.au
|
utas.edu.au/devil

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