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Study Quantifies Devils’ Decline due to DFTD



New research from the University of Tasmania has estimated the toll a deadly facial cancer has taken on Tasmanian devil populations since the disease was discovered in 1996.

In a paper published in Ecology Letters, researchers traced the spread of devil facial tumour disease (DFTD) across Tasmania and estimate that only 17,000 devils remain in the wild, a significant decline from their population peak of 53,000 in 1996.

Wildlife ecologist Dr Calum Cunningham said the spread of DFTD now occupies 90 per cent of Tasmania – almost all of the devils’ geographic range.

University of Tasmania wildlife ecologist Dr Calum Cunningham releases a devil back into the field.

“Devil facial tumour disease has caused severe population decline in…

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