Culling Could Destroy the Tasmanian Devil

Tasmanian devils are still under threat despite culling programs. Far too many devils must be killed to eradicate the Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD), so many in fact that it could decimate the Animal itself. During the incubation period of the disease, devils have no facial deformity and these animals slip through the cull net.

Current estimates give the Tasmanian devil only 25 years for survival in the wild. Work is in progress to find a vaccine. An "insurance population" is being established on the Australian mainland. And devils in north-western Tasmania have a natural genetic resistance; the spread there is slowing.

Just why the disease developed is unknown. It began in 1996. Because devils bite each other during normal interaction, DFTD spreads rapidly. The devil population has fallen by 60 per cent due to the dangerous facial tumour disease.
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