Tasmanian devil babies were born in mainland Australia for the first time ever in 3000 years, Aussie Ark reported. The 7 joeys born mark a special moment in native ecosystem restoration for the country. The joeys were born to adults that live at a 1,000-acre sanctuary.
“We have been working tirelessly for the better part of 10 years to return devils to the wild of mainland Australia with the hope that they would establish a sustainable population,” said Tim Faulkner, president of Aussie Ark. “Once they were back in the wild, it was up to them, which was nerve wracking. We had been watching them from afar until it was time to step in and confirm the birth of our first wild joeys. And what a moment it was!”
26 adults were released in late 2020, 7 of which were reproductive females. Organizations estimate that up to 20 joeys could be born, Aussie Ark reported. Tasmanian devils were removed from mainland Australia because they were competing with wild dingoes. Now, Tasmanian devils live in Tasmania, and about 25,000 are left in the wild today.
“The fact that the adults have adapted so quickly is remarkable and the joeys are one of the most tangible signs that the reintroduction of Tasmanian devils is working,” said Don Church, president of Re:wild. “This doesn’t just bode well for this endangered species, but also for the country with the world’s worst extinction rate. Tasmanian devils are ecosystem engineers that can restore and rebalance the wild to the benefit of other native wildlife, to the climate, and to people.”
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