Thursday, 13 October 2011

Tasmanian Devil headed for extinction in 25 years

The Tasmanian devil, the world's largest surviving marsupial carnivore, could become extinct in 25 years if an infectious cancer would not be properly managed, experts predict.

The Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease (DFTD), thought to be transmitted by biting during mating,   was first detected in north-east Tasmania in 1996. Since then the cancer has quickly reduced devils' populations by 60%.

The findings were reported in the Journal of Applied Ecology, published by the British Ecological Society. Listen to a podcast interview on the findings here.

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