April, 2024

Did you know we have been receiving donations to save the Tasmanian devil for 21 years? 

We've come such a long way, thanks to you. 

We have raised an astonishing $7.5 million from our devil community all around the world since we started receiving gifts in 2003 to assist in the fight against Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) 1 and 2. 

Even more impressive is that this incredible amount of money comes from 28,913 gifts from our global devil loving community. 

This year, we will be celebrating our researchers - those dedicated people who have worked tirelessly to find out what the causes are of DFTD 1 and 2: how we can contain it, prevent it and keep our devils alive in the wild.   

This is a time to pause, reflect and offer our gratitude to every single one of you who have donated, volunteered, worked on the research or simply shared the devil's story. 

Thank you. We are an amazing community. 

Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal

 
 

Securing the future of the Tassie devil looks brighter - thanks to you. 

In good news for the Tasmanian devil, $320,000 of philanthropic funds from Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal donors has been awarded this year in support of research to secure the endangered species.

The donations have been allocated to research across nine grants through the Tasmanian Devil Research Advisory Committee (TDRAC), the group tasked with reviewing the annual devil granting process. The funds will support Tasmanian devils through an array of projects including the ongoing development of a vaccine against Devil Facial Tumour Disease.

As well as assisting established researchers, the funds will also benefit early-career researchers and higher degree students, ensuring that skills in this important area of conservation are fostered in the next generation of researchers.

Among the research supported is a new donor-funded award that will provide funding worth $10,000 from prominent Tasmanian automotive parts manufacturer ACL Bearing Company (Australia) Pty Ltd.

Created to support an early-career researcher this funding will be used to develop a field-ready Devil Facial Tumour Disease (1 and 2) oral bait vaccine. The Dr Eric Guiler ACL Bearing Tasmanian Devil Early-career Research Grant will be led by Select Foundation Fellow Associate Professor Andy Flies and his team from the Menzies Institute for Medical Research in Hobart.

Dr Andy Flies (far right) with his team

The Tall Foundation Dr Eric Guiler Tasmanian Devil Honours Scholarship has this year been awarded to student Khal Glinda. Under the supervision of Professor Flies, Khal will also focus on the work required to trial a vaccine. Khal’s Scholarship is worth $10,000 and will allow this young scholar the opportunity to take build on his undergraduate studies with the supervised research project.

Among the other projects supported is work by Deakin University’s Associate Professor Beata Ujvari to better understand transmissible cancers, and University of Tasmania’s Dr Rodrigo Hamede’s research assessing the spread, prevalence and effects of devil facial tumour 2 at the epidemic’s frontline.

Dr Rodrigo Hamede releasing a devil after testing for DFTD 2

Each new project builds on the knowledge and understanding that continues to be the critical focus of the annual Tasmanian devil grants. The funds supporting these grants are collected through the Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal, a pathway that has engaged everyone from school children to premiers.

Professor Erik Wapstra, Chair of TDRAC, said the quality of applicants for funding was extremely high.

“A reinvigorated committee has been tasked to help disperse the funds for maximum impact in line with the identified research priorities agreed to by the Tasmanian government’s Save the Tasmanian Devil Program,” he said.

Director of Advancement at the University of Tasmania Rebecca Cuthill said it was wonderful that 21 years after fundraising for the Tasmanian devil first began, people are still giving generously, having seen some of the important gains that have been made, but recognising that more still needs to be done to secure the population.

“We have seen the production of Devil Facial Tumour Disease immunology tools as well as field research that has shed more light on the spread of disease,” she said.

“We are grateful to see the funding maintained from generous supporters across the globe.”

 

Spotlight on a devil researcher: Professor Greg Woods 

As we look back on 21 years of fundraising to protect the Tasmanian Devil from Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD1 and DFTD2), it’s a good time to highlight some of the critical work undertaken in the early days.

In 2006, immunologist Professor Greg Woods began been working on Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) at Menzies Institute for Medical Research (Menzies). While he officially retired in 2017, Greg is still working on the project as an Adjunct Professor. 

What began as a 'side of the desk' project with PhD Student Alex Kreiss and university veterinarian Dr Barrie Wells is now a big team working to understand the immune system of Tasmanian devils and why they cannot reject DFTD. 

Though it started as a small project with limited resources, the current team has expanded and is dedicated to a common goal: creating a vaccine for DFTD.

It’s a compelling story – and you can read more here. 

 

Ten years of good eggs. 

Tasmania's Pure Foods Eggs have been supporting Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal for a decade. 

If you have been to a supermarket in Tasmania, it's likely that you will have seen eggs in the distinctive black pack.

For every dozen egg pack sold, 20 cents is donated to our appeal. In that time just over $7000,000 has been donated to the devil appeal. That's an incredible 3.5 million packs.

Recently, Pure Foods Laura Manion, Chief Executive Officer and Dan Ryan, Business Manager (pictured either side of Menzies Institute of Medical Researcher Dr Andy Flies) were shown around the laboratories where work on a vaccine to prevent DFTD is well underway. 

We thank Pure Foods and everyone who has purchased the Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal branded packs over the years. 

 

Devil researchers on the global stage

The devil immunology team organised a two-day Wild and Comparative Immunology workshop in Hobart on 1-2 Feb. The workshop was supported by the Tall Foundation and hosted 35 researchers from Australia, Austria, and the USA (image below). Day 1 focused on the devil immune system and vaccine development. Day 2 broadened the focus to other wildlife diseases.

The 13th International CD1-MR1 Conference – Unconventional Immune Surveillance was held in Hobart 26 - 29 February. Attracting around 200 researchers from across the globe, Menzies Dr Andrew Flies delivered a keynote address. This resulted in many conversations, offers to help with the devil vaccine research, and a follow up invitation to give a seminar to the University of Sydney School of Medicine.

Collaboration is at the heart of new ideas and progress in research. 

We thank our donors who make world leading research possible. Together, we are making significant progress to keep our devils in the wild. 

 

Ballarat Wildlife Park

A huge thank you to our friends at Ballarat Wildlife Park. 

Recently, they ran their annual "Tasmanian Devil Day", raising an impressive $4,000 through activities like face painting and raffles. 

They have their very own Tasmanian devils to look after (what a happy and healthy looking mob they are too), but even so, they have donated a generous $1,000 from their fundraising activities. 

What a fantastic community effort. Thank you to everyone involved. 

Not only have they made a generous donation, they have also shared these fabulous photos of their devils so we can all enjoy them. 

 

A Bonza Effort!

Did you know Bonza Airlines are now flying from the Gold Coast to Launceston Airport?

On Good Friday, our very own Errol the Devil joined Launceston Airport CEO Shane O'Hare and Easter Bunny to celebrate. Together, they helped share cake, hot cross buns and raised money for Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal with the very first passengers arriving from, and flying out to the Sunshine Coast with Bonza. 

We thank the many passengers who donated, as well as Launceston Airport and Bonza for promoting our Appeal to locals and our interstate visitors. 

 

1 April is International Tasmanian Devil Day! 

2024 was the very first International Tasmanian devil Day. Have a look at the official Facebook page to see who is on board, sharing stories and pictures of the devil from all over the world.

Pop it in your diary for next year. It will soon be a global phenomenon. 

 

With love from Tama Zoo, Japan

Tama Zoo in Tokyo is home to a number of Ambassador Tasmanian devils, and earlier this year their team hosted a talk for 200, and as you can see in the photo below, everyone became devils! 

The zoo is raising awareness about Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal, and the zoo recently became home to two new devils. Keep an eye out for photos of the devils in their new home. 

In the meantime, enjoy these lovely devil faces! Thank you everyone at Tama Zoo for your wonderful support. 

You can find out more about Tama Zoo here

 

Sounds like devil spirit 

Have you seen acclaimed film-maker Simon Plowright's new documentary Living with Devils? It is a unique window into the world of our devil, and is a must see. 

On May 18, there will be a special screening of the documentary with the soundtrack performed live by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra at Federation Concert Hall, Hobart.

Composed by University of Tasmania alumna Maria Grenfell, the soundtrack is evocative, and the perfect accompaniment for the compelling documentary.  

Tickets and more information here

 
 
 

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

devil.appeal@ut‚Äčas.edu.au | utas.edu.au/devil

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