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Tasmanian devil

Sarcophilus harrisii


These are young devils in a breeding program, they are approximately six months old. As much as 90% of the wild population of devils has been lost to a contagious facial tumor disease. Insurance populations are being kept and bred apart from wild devils in order to ensure their survival.


Wildlife park in south-eastern Tasmania.


Devils are nocturnal and it is rare to see one in the wild. We only know they live in our valley because we've seen two young devils dead by the side of our road. Likewise we only know what mammals live on our property because of the scat and digging marks.

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Christiane 12 years ago

Please consider adding this to the "Marsupials of the World" mission at

lori.tas 12 years ago

Animallover, devils, like most wild animals, will usually avoid humans and only respond with threats when they feel cornered. They are very cantankerous with each other and readily fight over food, which usually involves lots of growling, posturing and vocalizations - this loud fighting behavior is how they got their name.

Animallover 12 years ago

Are Tasmanian devils really mean if they are seen or threatened?

Adriana Sadjoeri
Adriana Sadjoeri 12 years ago

Oh my gosh. I've never seen one. It is so. Cool how you found one!!! You just made me want to find a cool animal. All I have found was a pine tree. That's SO far. I will find a cool thing just as cool as that.

Isabela 12 years ago

Congratulations! Great series.

Elsa 12 years ago

Beautiful animal!

Christiane 12 years ago

Congrats.. I love to see them.. before they are all gone!

peter 12 years ago

Spotting of the day!

"As much as 90% of the wild population of Tasmanian devils has been lost to a deadly outbreak of disease."

Christiane 12 years ago

I would love to see a Tasmanian Devil in the wild!! And Carolin.. we are still loosing animals every year! Too many people don't care! Like the Baiji ones called "Goddess of the Yangtze"...

peter 12 years ago

It is really sad about their extinction. I never knew they existed until now either. Thanks for sharing, Lori. I always learn something new from you.

Carolina 12 years ago

Wow Lori, I appreciated this information, I didn't know about Tasmanian tigers either! That is so sad they extincted the last century, they were beautiful. I really hope we can do something for Tasmanian devils, we can't lose another species.

lori.tas 12 years ago

Hi Carolina. I do use a devil as my avatar - seemed fitting.

Tasmanian devils, along with their larger cousin Tasmanian tigers (, lived on the mainland until about 2000 years ago, but probably died out there due to pressure from humans. Both survived on Tasmania until whites arrived and killed off the tiger. The last tiger died in 1936 (in captivity). Hopefully we'll do a better job with the devils. Their last disease-free population is in the Tarkine in north-west of the state, which the Greens party is trying to protect with Heritage listing. Unfortunately the State and Federal government keep allowing mining and logging in the area. For information on the Tarkine, go here:

Carolina 12 years ago

Ohh I never saw a Tasmanian devil before not even in pictures, I knew they exist because the cartoons and because they were native to Tasmania, but I never got curious to see what they look like. And now I realized your default picture is a Tasmanian devil! I think I should pay more attention to what I see in Project Noah. Thank you Lori!

lori.tas 12 years ago

Thanks Tori. Cynthia, The "devil" name actually comes from the sounds they make, which would be terrifying if you had no idea what they came from. The first whites in Tasmania ascribed their growls and howls to "devils" in the bush. Hence the name. You can read more about Devil Facial Tumor disease here: At least they are mainly carrion eaters, Sarah. They'd have no interest in us while we were still alive.

SarahWhitt 12 years ago

They are cute - but I saw a special on Animal Planet - I wouldn't want to cross their paths - they are really vicious!!!

CynthiaMHori 12 years ago

wonder why the name "devil" they are way too cute. Glad to hear there is a breeding program but what is causing the disease? Virus? Makes me wonder of its origins

ToriMiller 12 years ago

What a great series! Who knew they were so cute!!

Spotted by

Tasmania, Australia

Spotted on Dec 6, 2010
Submitted on Apr 14, 2011

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