Tasmania is a large island situated below and on the Eastern side of the Australian mainland. It is one of the six states of Australia. It has many natural parks, reserves and World heritage sites and it is where the Tasmanian Devil is found exclusively in the wild.
The Tasmanian Devil is an unusual animal. It is a carnivorous marsupial, about the size of a small dog, and black with white markings. You would understand how it acquired its name if you heard the disturbing growling noise it makes and were to see its strange gait.
Devils are muscular animals with strong jaws which are able to eat an entire animal bones and all. They are scavengers and often feed on road kill. They will fight amongst themselves over carrion, and this inclination is one of the reasons for the spread of the awful Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD), which is decimating the Devil population. DFTD spreads between individual animals through biting – it is most unusual in that it is a contagious cancer. It causes disfiguring tumours on the face and neck, which interfere with feeding. Infected animals often starve to death.
The Save the Tasmanian Devil Program has been developed to aid this unique animal, and through various strategies, to prevent it becoming extinct (as was the relatively recent fate of another very special Tasmanian marsupial, the Tasmanian Tiger).
More detailed information about the Tasmanian Devil and its plight can be found on the website shown on this pathtag: www.tassiedevil.com.au.
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