Monday, November 06, 2006

Tasmanian devil

Tasmanian devil is a carnivorous marsupial found exclusively on the island of Tasmania. The size of a small dog but stocky and muscular, the Tasmanian devil is characterized by its black fur with white patches. It has a loud and disturbing screech-like growl, possesses a vicious temperament and is predominantly a scavenger. The widespread and common throughout Tasmania until recently.
Like a lot of the wildlife, fast vehicles on the roads are a problem for Tasmanian Devils, which are often killed while feeding on other road-killed animals such as wallabies. Tasmanian devil population has been reduced by up to 80% in parts of Tasmania, which is gradually spreading throughout the island. It is believed the majority have starved when the tumors have spread to their mouths and that the tumors are spread by fighting between devils over carcasses they feed on – typically, fighting devils will bite one another's faces. There is no cure for the disease, and intensive research is underway to determine its cause. There is also a captive breeding program being undertaken by the Tasmanian government to establish a disease-free, population of Tasmanian Devils outside Tasmania.

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