When you think of Tasmanian Devils, you probably think of that crazy character from Looney Tunes …
We think the real Tasmanian Devils are actually much cuter!
Did you know? The Tasmanian Devil is actually the world’s largest surviving carnivorous marsupial.
They have a thick-set, squat build, with a relatively large, broad head and short, thick tail.
Their fur is mostly black (sometimes they are all black!), but you will often see white markings on their rump and chest.
The devils can range in size, depending on where they live and what they eat. Like many animals, the adult males are usually larger than adult females. Large males weigh up to 12 kg, and stand about 30 cm high at the shoulder.
Ever wondered what a Tasmanian Devil eats?
They are mainly scavengers – they’ll feed on whatever they can find!
They have incredibly powerful jaws and teeth, which means they can eat all of their prey … bones, fur and all.
They’ve been known to eat wallabies and various small mammals and birds, as well as reptiles, amphibians, insects and even sea squirts.
In farming areas, they’ll feed off sheep and cattle carcasses if required. This is actually very helpful for farmers, as it can help to reduce the risk of blowfly strike to sheep by removing food for maggots. Helpful little devils!
But what do they DO?
Tasmanian Devils are nocturnal and are generally most active after dark.
During the day they will often hide in a den, or dense bush.
They roam considerable distances – up to 16 km! – along trails on the hunt for food. They tend to amble slowly with a characteristic gait but if they need to, they can gallop quickly with both hind feet together.
You might have heard of Tasmanian Devils climbing trees … you’d be right! Younger Tasmanian devils are a lot more agile, and they can climb trees.
Towards the end of 2008, the Tasmanian Devil was considered Endangered on the Red List of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). This is widely considered the most authoritative system for classifying species in terms of their risk of extinction.
The Tasmanian Devil is now wholly protected, so we are very proud to be able to have devils at our park for the public to see, appreciate and respect. We hope this will help to continue the understanding and protection of this incredible species for many years to come.
Saving the Tasmanian Devils
We are proud to be part of the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program.
The Save the Tasmanian Devil Program (STDP) was established in 2003 following concern for the decline of the Tasmanian devil due to DFTD. The core activity of the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program is funded by the Australian and Tasmanian Governments and is overseen by a Steering Committee. The Program is co-ordinated by the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE).
You can get more information on the program here, including how you can help to save the Tasmanian Devils.