Mainland Breeding Programs
Print View |


Mainland breeding programs (approx 70 devils, with a further 70 in Tasmania)

An April 2007 report from the ABC claimed 45 to 47 devils had been shipped to 4 mainland Australian zoos (4) (although in researching this page at least 5 zoos were found to be displaying devils).

In June 2008 it was announced that there are about 140 devils in breeding programs in total - about half on the mainland and half in Tasmania. Within the mainland, New South Wales houses the majority of devils. The Australian Reptile Park on the central coast holds nearly half of that state's stock and produced 8 of the 13 mainland devils bred in 2007 (14).

Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo, NSW (12 devils plus at least 5 young as at 22 Jul 08)

Twelve devils were shipped to Western Plains Zoo in 2007. In 2008 at least two of these produced young - five between them, being one male, one female and three of undetermined sex. Keepers believe some of the other three females may also be carrying young but have yet to examine them (as at 22 Jul 08) (14).

Australian Reptile Park, New South Wales (approx 30 devils as at Jun 2008)

The Australian Reptile Park is the "alloted zoo in NSW to participate in ... 'Project Ark'" The zoo is "currently the only zoo in NSW breeding this species" (11).

In a media release dated 14 August 2007 the zoo announced its first successful breeding season with 3 females carrying pouched young (11).

In Jun 2008 the zoo announced that a four-year old female named Patch was carrying four young. The father is Neil, with whom she produced 3 males last year. Other females with pouch young this year include the particularly aggressive Gretel and Gympy but the zoo claims the least aggressive females are the most successful breeders. The zoo produced 8 of the mainland's 13 captive bred devils in 2007, from 3 females. This year they believe 6 devils to be carrying young (14).

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Queensland

A breeding insurance population of devils exists at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. The Sanctuary experienced breeding success in April 2007 with the successful birth of 4 rice-grain-sized devils (2).

The sanctuary map shows devil exhibits(6).

Australia Zoo, Queensland (4 devils as at May 2008)

As at Feb 2007, Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo had five Tasmanian devils. Three were females (named Jinki, Tula and Mahlee) and two were male (named Zeke and Zeehan). Zeke was transferred from Adelaide Zoo in 2004 in order to increase the genetic diversity amongst Australia Zoo's breeding program specimens. Mahlee arrived in February 2007 at the same time that a male (named Tahune) left the zoo, destined for Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary (7).

In May 2008 the Zoo released an update on its devils. Presently there are four devils in residence: Jinki, Zeke, Zeehan and Mahlee. There is no word on the fate of Tula.

Symbio Wildlife Park, Sydney, New South Wales (2 devils as at May 2008)

On 4 October 2006, two Tasmanian devils were shipped to Symbio Wildlife Park. These were the first devils in over 5 years to be shipped from Tasmania to the Australian mainland. The arrangement followed an agreement for Symbio to act as a quarantine and holding station for the world's largest devil sanctuary, Something Wild Sanctuary in Tasmania (8).

In May 2008 I (Chris) visited Symbio and confirmed with keepers there that the two devils in their possession are named Richie and Rachel. At present they are about 6 years old and unlikely to breed again. The Park has plans to build further off-exhibit devil enclosures in anticipation of an increase in numbers of breeding devils.

Featherdale Wildlife Park, New South Wales (2? devils as at Apr 2008)

In April 2008 I (Chris) visited Featherdale Wildlife Park and found two devils on exhibit in separate enclosures. One was suffering lacerations behind its left ear, but there is nothing further I can report on these devils.

Healesville Sanctuary, Victoria (18 devils as at Jul 2007)

According to one recent article (10) published July 2007, Healesville is home to 12 devils. An older report submitted to the journal Zoo Biology in 2002 makes mention of a litter of devils being born at Healesville Sanctuary (5).

Healesville Sanctuary's Communications Manager, Nicole Humble informs us (25 July 2007, personal communication) that the Sanctuary has 18 devils in its care "as part of a recovery program led by the Tasmanian Government's Department of Sustainability and Environment. These are quarantine devils, brought over from Tasmania as part of the DFTD insurance population."

The Sanctuary recently opened a new devil enclosure named "The Devil's Playground". Although the zoo hopes to breed the devils in future (probably in 2008), they have not produced young yet.

In October 2007 I (Chris) visited Healesville Sanctuary and saw a number of devils on exhibit. In addition to speaking with a keeper that was present when one of the mainland devil specimens was presented (freshly road-killed, prior to the onset of rigor mortis) to the sanctuary in (presumably) 1991, I also saw their oldest devil on exhibit. A female, she was expecting to turn 8 years of age in March 2008.

Cleland Wildlife Park, South Australia

Cleland Wildlife Park also has at least one devil (9).

Dreamworld, Queensland (1 devil as at Oct 2007)

"Australian Wildlife World" at Dreamworld in south-east Queensland has one Tasmanian devil named Mario (12).



References

2. Devils on Maria Island, Parks and Wildlife Service, Tasmania
4. Mainland Tasmanian devil gives birth, transcript, The World Today, ABC
5. Growth and development of the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) at Healesville Sanctuary, Victoria, Australia, abstract, B.T. Phillips, S.M. Jackson, in Zoo Biology
6. Healesville Sanctuary map
7. Amazing Animals: Tasmanian Devil, Australia Zoo Website.
8. Media Releases, Symbio Wildlife Park
9. Daily Animal Feed Presentations Cleland Wildlife Park
10. Develish Support from Suzuki, Autoweb
11. Breeding Little Devils, Australian Reptile Park
12. How to handle a Devil, ABC Northern Tasmania
13. Devils Rule!, Australia Zoo
14. Little devils may be saviours yet, Sydney Morning Herald, accessed 23/7/08.


Copyright © 2007 thylacoleo.com and wherelightmeetsdark.com