Endangered Species Spotlight: Tasmanian Devils
SPECIES: Tasmanian Devils (Sarcophilus harrisii)
CURRENT RANGE: Only found in the wild in the Australian state of Tasmania
CURRENT THREATS: Devil face tumor disease, dingo attacks, the threat of iron ore mining in Tasmania
CONSERVATION STATUS: Endangered
WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM: In all forms of habitat in Tasmania, but primarily wooded forest areas
What are they?
Most of us will be familiar with the Tasmanian Devil that whirled across our TV screens in the Looney Tune cartoons we watched as children, but Tasmanian Devils are far from fictional. In reality, it’s the last surviving carnivorous marsupial, easily recognized by its short, stocky build, with black fur and white markings, and long, thick tails. Males have an average body length of just over 65cm and weigh on average 8kg, while the females measure just over 57cm and weigh on average 6kg. They are nocturnal animals that hunt at night with their incredibly powerful jaws and teeth, which are often compared to that of the hyena. Tasmanian Devils are very defensive when it comes to food, and will let out a blood-curdling scream when they feel that their food is being threatened by another Devil.