Minister for Climate Change and the Environment, Frank Sartor, today welcomed the opening of Taronga’s new Tasmanian Devil Breeding Centre, expanding the zoo’s contribution to national efforts to save this species from extinction.
The $1 million Tasmanian Devil Breeding Centre is an important public education and conservation breeding complex,” Mr Sartor said.
“The Devil Facial Tumour Disease has already claimed 60% of wild devils in Tasmania and the health of Tasmania’s ecosystems are dependent on their continued survival.
“This exhibit will not only be an attraction for our visitors, but it will also play an important role in helping to save the world’s largest remaining carnivorous marsupial.”
The Zoo’s Director and CEO, Cameron Kerr said the Breeding Centre lets visitors see conservation action, with an outdoor ‘classroom’ showing the difficulties the devil faces in the wild.
“The state of the art exhibit will help visitors learn more about how the cancer is threatening the survival of this species and what our NSW zoos are doing to help,” Mr Kerr said.
“The new Centre houses four breeding areas, and keepers are currently introducing devils for the next breeding cycle.
Mr Sartor confirmed that Taronga and Taronga Western Plains Zoos have joined with 13 wildlife organisations across Australia to breed up to 1,500 disease-free-devils as an insurance population.
“The Zoos have bred 24 devil joeys since the program began in 2008,” Mr Sartor said.
“Without conservation action Tasmanian Devils may become extinct in 25 -30 years.
“We’ve had a good start to the 2010 breeding season, with Taronga Western Plains Zoo already successfully breeding three devil joeys.”
The new Devil Breeding Centre is heavily focused on education and advocacy, where visitors can learn more about this endangered animal and its conservation and contribute to its survival.
- Tasmanian Devils could become extinct in 25 years without effective conservation action
- You can help by donating to Taronga’s Save the Tassie Devil Fund at: www.taronga.org.au/tcsa/the-taronga-foundation/appeals/tassie-devil.aspx
- Taronga’s education programs reach 1.5 million people annually at NSW’s two zoos
- This conservation program contributes to the NSW State Plan by providing public education and awareness programs about species conservation and management.