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The Tasmanian Devil is the world’s largest surviving marsupial carnivore. Sadly, the Tasmanian Devil has undergone a massive decline in numbers due to the Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD), with over 90% of the Tasmanian Devil population lost to this terrible disease. The Save the Tasmanian Devil Program (STDP) was established in response to the very real threat of extinction. The STDP includes a collaboration between the Tasmanian Government and the Zoo and Aquarium Association through which an ex-situ (captive) population was established.
Researchers are working on the development of a vaccine for the disease, however most of the conservation initiatives involve protecting populations where the disease has not appeared, as well as a strong focus on the ex-situ (captive) breeding program.
Around 400 years ago Tasmanian Devils became extinct on mainland Australia. Wild Tasmanian Devils are now found only in Tasmania.
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The ex-situ (captive) population provides insurance against extinction of the species, and a source population for reintroduction and re-establishment of the species. Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary has supported the STDP by breeding Tasmanian Devils as well as acting as an advocacy institution.