Healthy Tasmanian devils discovered by scientists looking to save species



  Tasmanian devils

Image caption

Tasmanian devils (such as these) were found in a remote part of Tasmania

A healthy group of Tasmanian devils has been discovered in Australia, raising new hopes for the survival of endangered species.

They were found by scientists on a conservation expedition in southwestern Tasmania.

The numbers of the marsupials have been cut due to the spread of an infectious facial cancer.

According to the local press, more than 80% of the demons in Tasmania have been lost due to the disease.

It happens between them when they fight or mate.

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The search expedition was funded by a crowdfunding campaign, and is a collaboration between the program Save the Tasmanian Devil, the University of Sydney School of Science, University of Sydney and Toledo Zoo of Ohio in the United States.

His scientists spent eight days exploring the desert through Wreck Bay and Nye Bay, looking for demons to trap so they could perform tests.

After taking tissue samples, they will now study the genetics of healthy demons to compare them with infected populations.

"The 14 individual devils trapped were in good condition," said Dr. Sam Fox, the team leader and the biologist attached to the Toledo Zoo.

"And more importantly, there were no signs of illness, and in general, the results show that the population in this area of ​​the southwest coast is small and healthy."

Save the Tasmanian Devil Program manager Dr. David Pemberton said The ABC news network in Australia said the finding was "very significant".

"Finding demons with new genetic diversity gives us opportunities," he said.

The Tasmanian Devil is the largest carnivorous marsupial in the world and is only native to the island state of Tasmania, 240 km (150 miles) south of the continent. Their growl-like scream helped them earn their demon nickname.

Earlier this year, researchers at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom said that anti-human cancer drugs could help save the species.


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