GPS Tracking Technology Integral to the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program

18 Oct 2016

Tasmanian Devil

Although secretive by natural, this doesn’t stop international researchers from placing GPS tracking technology on our world’s Tasmanian devils in the effort of mapping and tracking the creatures.

You now can view the lengthy tracks of a small number of these animals through the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program’s first animated video.

This video allows you to watch the devils’ movements as they roam around townships and bushland in the Lulworth, Weymouth and Low Head areas, blissfully ignorant of their GPS tracking device collars.

The Tasmanian devil comes from the Dasyuridae family and is a carnivorous marsupial. Also referred to as Sarcophilus harrisii, it is found in Tasmania on the Australian island in the wild. It is around the size of a small dog, but since the 1936 extinction of the thylacine, has now become the world’s largest carnivorous marsupial. It has a muscular and stocky build, pungent odor and black fur (often with white patches on its rump and chest). You can identify it by its disturbing and extremely loud screech. Its eating habits are very barbaric and it has a keen sense of smell.

The markings on the devil suggest that it’s more active during the dawn and dusk hours and are believed to draw biting attacks to areas of their body that are less important since fights between devils typically leads to scars.

Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal and the Tasmanian Devil Ambassador Program contributed funds to purchase the GPS collars. The intent of the collars is to allow the STDP to evaluate, calculate and understand the relocated devils do in the wild of Tasmania and how wide they roam after being released.

The animated video that was made public on October 7 shows the movements of 5 of the vaccinated devils from the 33 total that were released on August 30 around Stony Head.

The maps indicate that each night they roam as far as 20km, however, typically stick inside the 15km radius of where they were released.

This was the third wild release at Stony Head of vaccinated devils from Maria Island in an insurance population.

With Halloween getting close by, in an effort to acknowledge these carnivorous animals, you might consider dressing your children up in a Tasmanian Devil costume. It could add a little fun and appreciation at the same time for what researchers are doing.



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