The Tasmanian Devils cause supports the conservation of the Tasmanian devil by funding projects that:
- Protect and manage wild devil populations
- Care for and manage devils in captivity (insurance populations)
- Support captive breeding and release programs
- Research into disease prevention and cure
Wildcare Tasmania takes a $0 admin fee from donations. We know that a $0 fee is rare and we work hard to maintain this by absorbing our costs within interest earnings. If you would like to support us, you can also help by joining us as a member.
Thank you to Saffire Freycinet
We are very grateful to Saffire Freycinet for being the primary donor to the Tasmanian Devil cause to help us protect Tasmania’s devils from the infectious cancer Devil Facial Tumour Disease. Saffire has generously supported the cause since 2017. The Menzies Institute for Medical Research is working on developing a vaccine against the disease and donations have gone to support their work. Saffire’s guests and members of the public are also generous contributors.
October 2020 update from Menzies Institute for Medical Research – The fight to save our iconic Tasmanian devil is not over.
There has been an overall 85% reduction of devils in the wild due to DFTD, a transmissible cancer which is like a malignant tissue graft.
There are some encouraging signs that a very small proportion of devils can have tumour regressions, but we do not know if this is permanent or curative.
The small remnant population increases the species’ vulnerability to other diseases, bushfires, and fragmentation of habitat due to human intervention.
We need to explore as many avenues as possible for mitigating effect of DFTD. Our group has shown the immune system can be harnessed to attack DFTD in an experimental setting.
Our initial vaccine candidates generated strong immune responses in most immunised devils. Although this seemed to slow down the cancer growth, it was shown to be not fully protective. We are now focussed on developing improved candidate vaccines which can be delivered more easily.
Dr Ruth Pye, our research vet supported by Saffire and Wildcare, provides care of our research devils which has a key role in all aspects of our research activities, including provision of immune cells for in vitro research experiments. Without this help our research program would not be as successful as it has been.
Associate Professor Bruce Lyons
Dr Ruth Pye
Representing the Devil Immunology Group
Tasmanian School of Medicine and Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Read the full 2020 Research Report from Dr Ruth Pye here.