AN ENDANGERED species, Tasmanian Devils have made a comeback thanks to Devil Ark.
The largest conservation breeding program on the mainland, Devil Ark bred 44 healthy devils – now there’s more than 200 hundred.
And, two of the cutest ones dropped into AgQuip.
“The Tasmanian Devil does have a terrible reputation obviously, we want to show people they aren’t fierce and horrible and mean,” Devil Ark zookeeper Rachael Mangan said.
“They’re very much a bluffing animal, they love to show their teeth and make a lot of noise and be your typical Aussie – be very vocal to let everyone know how tough they are when in fact a lot of it is just bluff.”
In the mountains of Barrington Tops, the devils are bred to keep as much of their natural instinct and wild behaviour as possible.
The majority of the population was wiped out by Devil Facial Tumour Disease.
“Over 90 per cent of the population has succumbed to the awful disease,” Ms Mangan said.
“It’s a contagious cancer contracted through biting each other, which happens in their daily lives when they’re eating or mating so it passes quite quickly through the population.”
Parked with the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia at AgQuip, the devils are helped in the environment by shooters who manage fox and wild cat populations that wreak havoc with native species’.
The foxes prey on animals sized up to five-and-a-half kilos Ms Mangan said.
“So that’s a massive threat to quolls, baby devils, a lot of birds and reptiles, all kinds of things we want to see in the environment,” she said.
“And at the end of the day it’s all about biodiversity.
“They are worth saving, they’re the kind of animal we want in our environment – they held to scavenge around and keep the environment clean.
“They’re going gangbusters, the devils are doing fantastically.”