Ahead of National Threatened Species Day (7 September) a new book offers an update on the campaign to save the Tasmanian devil, which has experienced a dramatic reduction in its population.
Saving the Tasmanian devil: Recovery through Science-based Management documents the journey taken by partner organisations in the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program (STDP) in the discovery of Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD).
The book also provides the lessons learned from a program that has adapted to new information and research over 15 years, providing a solid foundation for future directions to continue securing the Tasmanian devil in the wild.
The book documents all aspects of devil conservation, this includes captive devil populations, applied pathology, immunology and genetic research findings, adaptive management, and the importance of advocacy and partnerships.
Co-editor Dr Carolyn Hogg, research manager of the Australasian Wildlife Genomics Group at the University of Sydney, said the book documents all aspects of devil conservation.
“This book will provide management practitioners and conservation scientists with insight into the complexities of undertaking a program of this scale and will also be of value to researchers, students and others interested in conservation.”
Co-editor Dr Samantha Fox from the STDP said the book describes how devil populations have declined across Tasmania.
“Although these small, fragmented devil populations are persisting in the landscape, they are susceptible to other threatening processes including roadkill, small population sizes and the consequential lack of genetic diversity,” Dr Fox said.
“The plight of the Tasmanian devil has become well-known globally due to excellent communication and strong collaborations between state, national and international organisations, but its fate remains uncertain as devils persist with DFTD, now two distinct forms of transmissible cancer.”
Co-editor Professor Katherine Belov AO from the University of Sydney summarised the efforts of all the authors in the book.
“This book shows how to integrate science with adaptive management and is a road map for future conservation programs,” she said.
Saving the Tasmanian devil: Recovery through Science-based Management is edited by Dr Carolyn Hogg and Professor Katherine Belov from the University of Sydney, and Dr Samantha Fox and Dr David Pemberton, from the STDP.