THE TASMANIAN devil breeding season is underway and conservation organisation Aussie Ark has announced the confirmation of its first devil joeys after pouch checks completed by keepers.
The pouch checks took place during the first snowfall of the season in the Barrington Tops, and the joeys are said to be healthy and strong despite the chilly weather.
Being already used to the cold weather, the animals living at Aussie Ark, especially the Tasmanian devils, feel right at home.
Through pouch checking, keepers assess the health of both the mother devils and the joeys as well as get an estimate of how many joeys Aussie Ark might be expecting for the 2020 breeding season. Staff say pouch checking the Tasmanian devils is one of the most exciting times of year for the Ark.
"Each year, pouch checking is such a special and thrilling process and this year being paired with the first snowfall for the season made it extra special," Aussie Ark's president Tim Faulkner says.
"We are extremely lucky to be able to witness first-hand the circle of life of the Tasmanian devils and the growth of these joeys - now crucial members of their species' insurance population."
The previous year, Aussie Ark successfully bred 69 Tasmanian devil joeys. The organisation hopes to beat that number this year and pouch checking is the first step, with 26 joeys confirmed so far.
This is an incredible step in the right direction for the endangered species, Mr Faulkner said.
"We cannot wait to watch these little devils grow up.
"Our team is working tirelessly to make sure Tasmanian devils do not go extinct - extinction is not an option! It is encouraging to see that every breeding season is bigger than the last."
At present, Aussie Ark's Tasmanian devil breeding program remains the most successful captive breeding facility for the endangered species on the mainland. The program currently holds more than 50 per cent of the mainland insurance population of Tasmanian devils
Aussie Ark counts on the support of its advocates to ensure the future of Tasmanian devils' insurance population's future.
About Aussie Ark
As a not for profit organisation, Aussie Ark raises the necessary funds to continue its ambitious vision. Investment allows for the construction of captive facilities and predator proof fencing on semi-wild parcels of land. Aussie Ark is a registered environmental organisation and charitable institution under the Australian Charity and Not-for-Profit Commission. Aussie Ark has deductible gift recipient status (DGR status) and is registered for GST purposes. More information at www.aussieark.org.au