Australian scientists plan to set up fences on Tasmania, to prevent the spread of cancer that threatens the existence of the world's largest pocket-sized predator Tasmanian Devil (Tasmanian island devil) .
The fierce teeth of the Tasmanian Devil.Photo: Animaldiversity.
Australian researchers say there is currently no way to cure contagious cancer, which affects two-thirds of the Tasmanian Devil population. They warn that if not acted immediately, this species will become extinct within 20 years. Scientists hope that the fence they propose can remove healthy offspring from infected numbers.
Current conservation methods are to find healthy animals and then take them to quarantine. In early 2008, the Tasmanian Devil's endemic species of the southern Australian island was listed as endangered due to infection with tumors on the face.
Recent studies show that the mother Tasmanian Devil does not transmit the disease to her and this gives scientists hope. But they also received the bad news when they discovered a Tasmanian Devil called Cedric, known for his immunity to cancer, eventually had the disease, with two large, coin-like tumors on his face.
The Tasmanian Devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) is about the size of a small but very healthy dog. They became the world's largest pocket carnivores since the Thylacine species became extinct in 1936. Characteristics of the "Tasmanian island devil" are black fur, easy to get angry, horrible squeals and very fierce while eating.