To take full advantage of the Tasmanian wildlife and to feel integrated into the Tasmanian culture,
we thought it essential to be in direct contact with the endemic marsupial of the island. We are clearly talking about the iconic carnivorous Tasmanian devil.
By word-of-mouth, we learned about the conservation program of the devils set up in the cradle Mountain through the organisation Devils@Cradle. This one, always enthusiastic about welcoming new volunteers, has opened its door to us for six days. We thank the team again for the great time and experience.
Few words about the Tasmanian devil
The Tasmanian devil is a nocturnal marsupial living only in Tasmania. Its extinction in Australia is a result of human activities, such as indigenous hunting and through predation from dingoes, anthropogenically introduced.
Since theTasmanian tiger became extinct in 1936, this threat towards devils was recognized. It has been legally protected since 1941 and the absence of dingoes in Tasmania has allowed the population of devils to recover.
Since the 1990s, many Tasmanian devils have been ravaged by devil facial tumor disease. To avoid the extinction of the species, sanctuary such as Devils@Cradle have been created and dedicate their time to this cause.
Devils@Cradle – its mission
Devils@Cradle is a unique Tasmanian conservation facility focusing on Tasmania’s two carnivorous marsupials: the Tasmanian devil and the quoll.
Much of the success of the sanctuary has been its engagement into the nation-wide Captive Breeding Program (CBP) called the ‘Insurance Population. This CBP is managed by the Zoological and Aquariums Association (ZAA) in coordination with the Tasmanian Governments ‘Save the Tasmanian Devil Program’ (STTDP) and is vital to ensure the genetic diversity held within Australian Institutions and the future of the species.
Guided tours are being conducted every day and night into the sanctuary. Visit the Devils@cradle website for more information.
As a volunteer
We arrived at Devils@Cradle between February and March, at the beginning of the devils’ breeding period.
As volunteers, several tasks were assigned to us such as cleaning the visitor center every morning followed by the cleaning of all the animals enclosures.
Around 10.30am our heart started to beat with the arrival of Wanda, the baby wombat. It was our pleasure to feed her twice a day.
Wanda has been adopted by the sanctuary after the death of her mother by road killing. Wanda was still in her mum’s pouch but she survived. She has become the Devils@Cradle mascot. Every day she appears during a guided tour and accepts to be cuddled by visitors.
If you’re keen to volunteer at the facility, please visit the Devils@Cradle website.
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