It has been 3,000 years since the shrill screams of Tasmanian demons resounded across mainland Australia’s forests. But now, thanks to the efforts of conservationists, dozens of individuals of this endangered tiny predator have returned to mainland Australia for the first time in thousands of years.
Accordingly, the Australian NGO Aussie Ark released 26 Tasmanian demons into a 400-hectare wildlife sanctuary in the north of Sydney, New South Wales. They are raised and preserved through the Aussie Ark breeding program, which has grown from 44 Tasmanian demons in 2011 to more than 200 today. As scavengers, the Tasmanian devils play an important role in maintaining a healthy, balanced ecosystem – that’s why scientists have worked so hard to bring them back.
The Tasmanian demon (scientific name: Sarcophilus harrisii) is a carnivorous marsupial of the family Dasyuridae.
“In 100 years, we will look back on today as the time when the ecosystem of an entire country began to recover,” said Tim Faulkner, president of Aussie Ark. “This is not only a reincarnation of one of Australia’s favorite animals, but also an animal that will construct its entire surroundings, restore and rebalance our forest ecosystems. after centuries of being ravaged by foxes, cats and other invasive predators.
The size of a pet dog, Tasmanian devils are famous for their ferocity and powerful jaws, which can gnaw large chunks of flesh into chunks in minutes. However, this animal was completely wiped out in mainland Australia 3,000 years ago. Accordingly, the appearance of the dingo from Southeast Asia 4000 years ago is believed to be the main cause of a series of marsupial animals such as the Tasmanian tiger and the Tasmanian demon becoming extinct.
However, recent studies have shown that it is human actions that are the main cause of the Tasmanian demon disappearing from Australia millennia ago. Accordingly, when the prehistoric hunters killed all the large herbivores (collectively known as Megafauna), the Tasmanian devil fell into a lack of food.
Notably, in the 1990s, these marsupial species continued to decline in numbers due to their incurable incurable facial cancer (or Devil’s Face Tumor). It is this disease that has reduced the remaining rare Tasmanian demon populations on Tasmania, off the southern coast of Australia, to only 25,000.
Refer to National Geographic