As you may be aware, unfortunately by the time Europeans arrived in Australia, the Dingo had out-competed the Devil and Thylacine (according to the most likely explanation) from the mainland, leaving Tassie as the final stronghold for our real ‘native’ top-order marsupial predators. While it is too late for the Thylacine, the Devil (although now in trouble due to the facial tumour disease) is still alive and kicking, and is now posing a serious question for scientists…
With this in mind, if you live on the mainland, this recent article is well worth a read.
So how do we get people on both the mainland and Tasmania to appreciate that the so called ‘Tasmanian’ Devil is actually a missing mainland species – and one (as the article suggests) that could provide a key role in regulating our ecosystems by taking the competitive edge off foxes and cats in areas where dingoes are now lost from the landscape in south-eastern Australia. When you consider that species we have lost from the mainland happily coexist with devils and cats in Tasmania, this is a concept surely worth a try.
If you are interested to read a bit more about my thoughts on the topic, this previous post might also be of interest.
So, what do you think – is it worth our regional community seriously investigating this option further, including whether there is a role we could play in a mainland Devil reintroduction trial?