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- Barrington Wildlife Sanctuary marks the birth of its 500th Tasmanian devil.
- The breeding program started in 2011 with 44 disease-free devils from Tasmania.
- This milestone contributes to the survival of the endangered species.
A decade of dedication pays off
After more than a decade of relentless efforts, Barrington Wildlife Sanctuary's Tasmanian devil breeding program witnesses its 500th joey's birth. Found during a routine pouch inspection, this marks a momentous occasion for the Aussie Ark initiative in New South Wales.
Billy Collett, Operations manager at Aussie Ark and the Australian Reptile Park, expressed his immense satisfaction with the progress.
"To get 500 joeys since the beginning is an absolute success story," he remarked, emphasizing that this is merely a milestone and not the journey's conclusion.
The young joey has earned the moniker Milo the Milestone Devil and is currently around four months old.
Started with 44 devils
Initiated in 2011, the program's inception was when the sanctuary received its maiden batch of 44 disease-free devils from Tasmania. Today, it stands as mainland Australia's most extensive Tasmanian devil breeding initiative and is a crucial insurance population for the devil species.
However, Billy Collett's aspirations soar higher.
"We want to get to 1,000, 2,000. They're the numbers we aim for," he stated, emphasizing each devil's importance as a species representative.
Why this milestone is important
Tasmanian devils are grappling with perilous challenges. A staggering 90 percent of their wild population is decimated due to the contagious devil facial tumour disease. Other significant threats include dog attacks, poisoning, and road accidents.
Barrington's 500th joey was born in their free-range sanctuary, a 400-hectare area protected from predators and devoid of invasive species like foxes, cats, deer, or pigs.
Despite being distant from their natural Tasmanian environment, the Barrington Tops location offers an apt habitat for these marsupials. Collett noted the region's similarities in topography and climate, ensuring the devils' thriving existence there.
No sixth mass extinction
Make sure you check out our in-depth investigation into the claim of an ongoing sixth mass extinction.