Record breaking breeding season for Devil Ark

Snug as ... well, Tasmanian Devils in a blanket. Photo: Carl Muxlow
Snug as ... well, Tasmanian Devils in a blanket. Photo: Carl Muxlow

Devil Ark, the Tasmanian devil conservation breeding program at Barrington Tops, has announced another record breaking breeding season with 51 new joeys added to their growing collection.

Since its launch in 2011 with 44 devils, Devil Ark has seen around 250 joeys born over five successful breeding seasons.

Mothers can produce up to 50 foetuses at a time, but as they only have four teats, only the first four to latch on will survive.

Devil Ark successfully released their first batch of 22 devils in the wild in Tasmania in November 2015. Photo: Carl Muxlow

Devil Ark successfully released their first batch of 22 devils in the wild in Tasmania in November 2015. Photo: Carl Muxlow

The joeys don’t leave their mother’s pouch until around 10 months, and are considered adults at two years of age. In the wild, devils typically live for five to six years, while in captivity they can live to eight years.

Devil’s Ark is the largest conservation and breeding program for the marsupials on Australia’s mainland. 

One of the Tasmanian Devils at the Barrington Tops centre. photo: Carl Muxlow

One of the Tasmanian Devils at the Barrington Tops centre. photo: Carl Muxlow

As the animal is listed as endangered and could be at risk of extinction from devil facial tumour disease (DFTD) conservation programs such as this are critical to their survival.

The Devil Ark reserve at Barrington Tops covers 500 hectares at an altitude of 1350 metres, and is an idea location for the devils because of its similar climate to Tasmania.

For more information visit www.devilark.org.au.