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Devils released at Stony Head

Devils released at Stony Head

After months of hard work by the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program (STDP), its partners and supporters, 33 Tasmanian devils have been released into the wild in the State’s north.

The devils include, for the first time, wild animals from Maria Island and devils from the captive insurance population.

This latest release at Stony Head (near Low Head) is part of ongoing efforts to protect and recover the species and is crucial to explore ways to rebuild populations affected by Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD).

The Stony Head devils join 20 others released at Narawntapu National Park in September 2015 and 49 devils released on the Forestier Peninsula in November 2015 as part of the Wild Devil Recovery Project.

One of the biggest challenges faced by the SDTP is rebuilding wild devil populations in areas where DFTD is present. A key role of the Wild Devil Recovery Project is to support ongoing trials of immunisation to enhance the devils immunity to DFTD.

All devils released at Stony Head were prepared and immunised by the STDP and the Menzies Institute for Medical Research.

A snack before embarking on a new life at Stony Head

A majority of the devils have a GPS collar allowing the STDP to track their movement and distribution.

The collars will also enable the Program to monitor the devils and see whether the immunisation is working. This is an ongoing trial and it is hoped that each new release will provide new and important information around the effect of the immunisation and how the released devils impact the local population.

The STDP has worked incredibly hard to maximise the success of the previous releases and a great deal has been learned to inform the management of the Stony Head project.

Read more on the Save the Tasmanian Devil website

See footage of the devil release on the STDP Facebook page

Hear what DPIPWE’s Dr Samantha Fox has to say