6-12

Months a devil will live once infected with Devil Facial Tumor Disease.

Tasmanian devil looking up at the camera

Once found throughout Australia, Tasmanian devils slowly lost ground to the introduced dingo. But they did well on Australia’s island state of Tasmania, where there were no dingoes.

 

 

Devil in the Details

Devils might have a fearsome reputation, but they’re more vulnerable than they seem. These nocturnal marsupials use fierce snarls and high-pitched screams to establish dominance at feeding time. They use a threatening-looking yawn to communicate—mostly about fear or uncertainty—and a strong sneeze acts as a bluffing behavior before a fight.

 

 

 

A yellow road sign alerts drivers of Tasmanian devils in the vicinity.

Threats to Tasmanian devils include attacks by domestic dogs and foxes, being hit by cars, loss of habitat, and disease. The largest predator in the devil's ecosystem is the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle, which competes for food with scavenging devils.

8%

Percentage of newborns that typically survive.

Angels of the Ecosystem

Tasmanian devils are vital to their ecosystems. Known as the vacuum cleaners of the forest, these scavengers mostly eat animals that are already dead, which helps keep the habitat clean and disease at bay. But in addition to their uniquely terrible cancer, devils are threatened by human-wildlife conflict. Their forest habitats are being destroyed, they are viewed as pests and killed, and they are preyed upon by dogs and other introduced species.

Tasmanian devil hiding behind bush leaves

Together, we can
turn things around.

11-30

Weight in pounds of an adult Tasmanian devil.

Tasmanian devil in transportation tube.

A Tasmanian devil being released from a transportation tube, into the wild.

 

 

Coming Together

San Diego Zoo Global is a proud partner of local conservation efforts in Tasmania, collaborating with zoos and research institutes to save these little devils. Your support to the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy helps to establish disease-free populations in the wild, and develop a vaccine to eradicate Devil Facial Tumor Disease once and for all.

 

 

Tasmanian Devil hiding in hollow log

When European settlers arrived in Tasmania in the late 18th century, they considered Tasmanian devils to be pests—the devils hunted the settlers’ sheep and chickens. By the 1830s, bounties had been placed on the devil; the species neared extinction around the turn of the century. Fortunately, the Tasmanian devil gained legal protection in 1941, giving the population a chance to gradually bounce back.

10

Miles a night a devil travels looking for food.

While their cartoon counterparts will live on forever, Tasmanian devils need your help today in order to survive. You can help us bring them back from the brink of extinction—we can’t do it without you.

Tasmanian devil in overgrown grass