Jeff Corwin on historic Tasmanian devil return: It's 'a glimmer of hope'

新南威尔士’ Aussie Ark wildlife sanctuary announced the seven historic births on social media last week.

There are just around 25,000 devils left in the Tasmanian wild today and the species is 列出的 as endangered on the United Nations’ Red List.

野生动物 biologist and conservationist Jeff Corwin has been to Tasmania 20 至 30 times over the years in his career and worked extensively with Tasmanian devils.


Speaking with Fox News on Friday, he called the newsa glimmer of hopein a world dealing witha lot of environmental darkness and despair.

Corwin said that the world’s largest surviving marsupial carnivore is theposter child for imperiled wildlife and extinction.

They are incredibly adaptive creatures. They are very resilient animals, incredible predators and really remarkable scavengers. 但, they really were not equipped to take on a number of challenges and really were ill-equipped for things like invasive species – especially dogs. 和, they were not ready for roads and development and disease,” 他说. “所以, the three threats they face significantly: one is an internal threat, which is … a sarcoma that they actually spread virally from one Tasmanian devil to the next.

Biologist and wildlife conservationist Jeff Corwin holds a Tasmanian Devil at the Trowunna Wildlife Sanctuary in Tasmania.

Biologist and wildlife conservationist Jeff Corwin holds a Tasmanian Devil at the Trowunna Wildlife Sanctuary in Tasmania. (信用: Jeff Corwin)

Due to these pressures, the devils were pushed to the point of regional extinction.

Tasmania was the devilslast remaining refuge and a disease called Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) has ravaged the wild population.

Once called Sarcophilus satanicus, 要么 “Satanic flesh-lover,” devils – known now as Sarcophilus harrisii – typically live for up to six years in the wild and males can weigh up to 30 磅.

Corwin likened the devilsplight to that of the endangered California condor, which is being slowly reintroduced into Pacific Northwest skies for the first time in nearly 100 年份.

It’s not all that different to the American California condors. 你懂, the California condor just a few decades ago was reduced to being nearly extinct in the wild. 现在 [有] around 500-plus wild condors, but it’s a highly managed population. It requires a lot of micromanagement to ensure that they survive in the wild,” 他说.

“和, this will likely be the same in Australia … because Australia is the poster child as the Tasmanian devil is the poster child for incredible natural wonder and shocking environmental catastrophe,” the animal expert said, noting that poor environmental management had pushed hundreds of Australian species to the brink of extinction.

Nearly three billion animals were estimated to have been killed or displaced in the devastating wildfires of late 2019 和早 2020.

一个七月 2020 study released by scientists from several Australian universities said 2.46 billion reptiles, 180 million birds, 143 million mammals and 51 million frogs were harmed in the blazes.

Corwin said the fires likely pushed 12 species to extinction and consumed hundreds of millions of acres of habitat, reducing one of Australia’s most important 国家公园 通过 90%.

Corwin said conservationists also need to take predators and invasive environmental competitors, and other factors like disease into account.

行进 03: Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii), Dasyuridae. (逾越节和耶稣受难日)

行进 03: Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii), Dasyuridae. (逾越节和耶稣受难日)