It appears likely that extinction in the wild, at least for the majority of the state, is a likely outcome.

Status of Tasmanian devils in the wild

The unfolding demise of the Tasmanian devil has exceeded ‘normal’ worst-case epidemics and continues to do so.
Click here for more

The dirt on DFTD

DFTD is one of the only cancers known to spread as a contagious disease. The cancer is spread from devil to devil primarily through biting.
Click here for more

Possibility of disease resistance
in the northwest

Despite media portrayal of scientific 'breakthroughs', long-term survival will still rely upon the preservation of genetically varied devils from as wide a geographic range as possible.
Click here for more

The crucial role of captive breeding

The aim of the 'insurance population’ is to establish and maintain healthy, genetically diverse Tasmanian devils for successful release into the wild when required.
Click here for more

The devil's in the details:
more about Devil Ark

Since the development of the Devil Ark concept, the Australian Reptile Park has been busy working with a range of partners to create this ambitious breeding program.
Click here for more

More about Devil Ark founders and partners

Devil Ark is being developed by the Australian Reptile Park in partnership with the Foundation for Australia's Most Endangered Species.
Click here for more

There is hope that some devils in the far northwest will muster a sustained immunity to DFTD. However, because of the adaptability of the tumour – which has repeatedly exceeded ‘worst-case’ expectations, and already spawned more than a dozen ‘local’ strains – there is little cause for optimism. Unfortunately, even if a proportion of devils in the northwest do demonstrate a sustained resistance to the disease, the species will not survive in the long-term without preservation of a much broader genetic variation.

Quite simply, without adequate preservation of genetic diversity in very large numbers of individuals in protected holdings while the disease runs its course, extinction of the Tasmanian devil will merely be postponed.

This is why the development and long-term maintenance of a widely representative insurance population at Devil Ark is a most vital component of any plan to avert the extinction of Australia’s most iconic predator. Indeed, it is very possible that the targeted insurance population strategy for the STTDP could prove to be the only component of the program to provide significant long-term value in this quest.

Where is Devil Ark?

Phase 1 of Devil Ark has been constructed at an elevated property at Barrington Tops, in the Upper Hunter Shire of NSW. The site is remarkably ‘Tasmania-like’ in character and climate.

Find out how you can support Devil Ark in saving the Tasmanian devil
Did you know? In 2008 researchers made a grim discovery. The DFTD had begun to evolve into a number of identifiable strains moving through the Tasmanian devil population.
devils devils devils devils devils devils