Tasmanian Devil Condemned to Zoos And Cartoons

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Tasmanian Devil Extinction

Afflicted With An Incurable Plague, The Last Carnivorous Marsupial’s Survival Depends on a Captive Breeding Program

A contagious cancer is wiping out the Tasmanian Devil, the world’s last carnivore marsupial and native only to the island of Tasmania, and Austrialian state off the southeast coast. First discovered in the late nineties, the disease has killed off 85% of the population. Although zoos and fauna parks are collecting samples of the species in hopes of preserving the gene pool, there is little hope at this point that the Tasmanian Devil will exist in the wild in the short term future.As is the case in an ecosystem that loses a key species, the vacuum will be filled by other species that will overtip the natural balance of things. In this case, we are talking about foxes, rats and wasps.To make matters worse, new mining is being proposed in the Tarkine rainforest in north-west Tasmania. The Tarkine is well known for the public battles to save it from logging, and was given emergency National Heritage listing in 2009. But that status lapsed in December 2010, and with the global price of minerals rising, mining companies began to explore the area. Ten mines have been proposed for the area — nine of them open cut. The first two mines planned will produce tin and iron ore.

For more invasive, endangered and former species, visit the CatMap Extinction Map

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