Seven Tasmanian devils have been born in mainland Australia, more than 3,000 years since they were vanished in the area, marking anoptimistic step in conservation efforts for the endangered animals.
Australian NGO Aussie Ark have been working tirelessly for the better part of 10 years to return devils to the wild of mainland Australia with the hope that they would establish a sustainable population.
Seven baby Tasmanian devils were born at the 988-acre Barrington Wildlife Sanctuary in New South Wales. Previously, the NGO had introduced 11 of the creatures back into the wild in mainland Australia, following an earlier trial of 15, bringing the total of Tasmanian devils on the mainland to 26. Now, just months after their release, the creatures have successfully reproduced.
The animals are important to Australia because they "help control feral cats and foxes that threaten other endangered and endemic species”. They are scavengers help to keep their home clean and free of disease.
Tasmanian devils witnesses declined in population over 3,000 years ago due to the introduction of the dingo, a pack animal that pushed the Tasmanian devil out of mainland Australia.
The animals are threatened by a transmissible, painful and fatal disease called Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) — the only known contagious cancer, which reduced up to 90 percent of the wild population of Tasmanian devils.