Tarkine Devil Project
The Tarkine Devil Project is a bold initiative born of two unique Tasmanian businesses, Tarkine Trails and Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary and the acclaimed not for profit organisations the Tasmanian Land Conservancy, (TLC) and the Bookend trust. Keep an eye out for our dedicated devil project website coming online soon.
Support for the Tarkine Devil project
“I am incredibly excited by this conservation partnership and what they will achieve in finding out about devil populations in the Tarkine. This large remote area is presently a blank spot in our understanding of devil and other carnivore conservation. It is difficult to obtain information from such wild areas but Tarkine Trails in partnership with Bonorong, the TLC and the Bookend trust can now do it.” Dr Menna Jones – from the school of Zoology UTAS, leading Devil researcher.
Dr Chris Boland, Science Manager of the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program said: “The data from this project has the potential to be very useful to the conservation of the Tasmanian devil. It represents more eyes on the ground to monitor the spread of DFTD in a key area and the information collected will assist in the management of the disease. I also really like the way the project enables the community to engage in valuable scientific research. In fact, I think it is a really unique and valuable approach. The project not only collects scientific data from a remote part of the state, it also serves to educate the community about devils, and gives the community a sense of ownership over the plight of these amazing little Tasmanian creatures.”
The aim of the project
Use our collective skills and resources to install hidden motion sensing cameras throughout the Tarkine region to monitor devil populations and the movement of Devil Facial Tumor Disease through the landscape.
Gather this invaluable data and feed it through to the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program, the Fox Eradication Program, University researchers and other interested parties.
Actively engage the broader community with the research. We will offer a direct hands on experience with the science via Tarkine Trails infrastructure, walks and custom built experiences. We will also take students and teachers into the wild places of the Tarkine and involve them with real scientific work in their own backyard.
How will the project work?
There are two stages to the project
The first year has been structured around a zoology honors project in which the honors student Amy Saunders will be studying where devils actually live within the Tarkine. Amy will be working under the guidance of renowned Devil researcher Dr Menna Jones.
The second phase is a long-term, ‘sentinel’ monitoring system which will run for as long as we can fund it for (at least seven years at this stage). Hidden motion sensing cameras will be strategically placed using the information gathered during phase one. They will literally act as a “wall of eyes” guarding the Tarkine. The information they gather will tell us a large amount about devil populations and the progress of the disease. In addition the baited cameras will attract other carnivores of interest such as spotted-tailed quolls and feral cats. The Fox Eradication Program is also very interested in this research.School involvementAnother exciting aspect of the project is the participation of schools throughout Tasmania. We have enlisted the help of an organisation called Expedition Class who work under the Bookend Trust. These guys are going to be taking kids from high schools in regional Tasmania out to the Tarkine. They will then take part in the data collection by resetting some of the cameras. All the while they will be experiencing the ancient rainforest which lies in their backyard, something which many would never otherwise do.
Where are the funds coming from?
The project has received funding via a Save the Tasmanian Devil Community Grant from public donations to the Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal, the official fundraising arm of the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program administered by the University of Tasmania.This money will enable us to buy a stack of cameras and conduct some very important research over the next year. However the potential for this project to become a long-term, thorough survey of devil populations and disease spread depends on you!
We are conducting a broad scale public appeal at the moment to raise more money to buy camera equipment and safeguard the longevity of the project, see sponsor a camera for more detail.
Where will the Cameras be placed?
During the first stage of the roll out, the cameras will be located primarily in areas that Tarkine Trails utilise as a walking business. Specific positioning will be determined by both the science framework and the ability for Tarkine Trails to access the cameras. Tarkine Trails guides can then tend to the maintenance of the cameras during their walks, i.e. collection of camera data and battery changes. At the same time Tarkine Trails guides can engage the walking participants in the science being carried out.
- Tiger Ridge – Project base camp
Tiger Ridge - Project base campTiger Ridge is a remote and exclusive wilderness camp in the south east corner of the Tarkine owned by Tarkine Trails. Tarkine Trails have offered Tiger Ridge as a research base camp. Perfectly positioned just to the west of the Tarkine’s eastern boundary, Tiger Ridge sits at the coal face of where we currently know the disease has reached.
- Tarkine rainforest track
Tarkine rainforest trackThe Tarkine rainforest track is both the Tarkine’s and Tasmania’s only multiday rainforest walk. For 90% of the six day experience, the rainforest track sits beneath an ancient Myrtle rainforest canopy. Little research has been done on Devil population levels deep within the Tarkine, so the rainforest track provides us with the extraordinary opportunity to both monitor for the disease as well get a sense of population densities within the heart of the Tarkine. This study (and the research along the Tarkine coast) will be truly groundbreaking research.
- Wild Tarkine coast
Tarkine CoastThe Tarkine coast line is a hot spot for Devils. Many TT Tarkine coast walkers come across Devils in broad daylight, during one trip in 2010, six Devils were seen in one day, during the day. Being so far removed from the disease front, the Tarkine coastline in theory should remain Disease free for many years to come. The incredible remoteness of this area will allow us to study specific impacts of humans on coastal wildlife populations by comparing carnivore numbers along the track and then further north in the more populated areas around Arthur River.
Tarkine Trails, Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, the Tasmanian Land Conservancy and the Bookend Trust are all businesses/organisations founded and motivated by the simple principle of doing what we can to make our world a better place. Independently, we each offer something very unique via our services, yet together via the medium of this project we aim to make a powerful contribution to the extraordinary efforts being currently undertaken to save the Tasmanian Devilfrom extinction.
For almost ten years, Tarkine Trails have pioneered eco tourism in the Tarkine region in the North west of Tasmania, leading multiday guided walks into the Tarkines most remote zones. A landscape riddled with controversy over its land tenure security, the Tarkine for us has always been a symbolic representation of a broader global dilemma, i.e what is the integral value of the worlds remaining wild places?
Today, the Tarkine remains on a knife edge, torn between opposing uses and the community value systems that underpin these industries. Yet whilst our desire as a business for the Tarkines protection is clear, we don’t prescribe to the polarised debate between opposing industries. Our aim is simple, to strip away the barriers between people and unprotected wild places. It’s here in directly threatened ancient landscapes that magic happens, the penny drops and those who join our walks, begin to ponder the innate value of the worlds remaining wild treasures.
Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary
Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary (pronounced “Bon-a-rong” – Aboriginal meaning “Native Companion”) was established in 1981 as a sanctuary for injured and orphaned wildlife and is Tasmania’s most popular wildlife park.
Our passion and work centers around helping our native wildlife survive. We thrive on educating as many people as possible about how we can all help save, rehabilitate and release injured animals. All of Bonorong’s ‘residents’ undergo meticulous assessments to ensure they are healthy and happy in our care.
Central to our work is Bonorong’s volunteer F.O.C. Wildlife Program; this is Tasmania’s first community run wildlife assistance service, designed to help our devoted volunteer carers and the many native animals in need. We are always looking for new volunteers to help nurse our wildlife back to health – people like you! To find out more information, click here http://www.bonorong.com.au/foc_program.html
Bonorong is also involved in the Tasmanian devil captive breeding program. We breed these special creatures in large, natural enclosures and keep them safe from the ravages of the Devil Facial Tumour Disease. We have to face the possibility that one day the devil may become extinct in the wild. Then devils like ours may be the life-line for the species. However we hope that because of initiatives like the Tarkine Devil Project, this will never come to pass.
The Tasmanian Land conservancy
The Tasmanian Land Conservancy is a registered environmental organisation. We raise funds from the public to protect irreplaceable sites, endangered species’ habitats, and rare ecosystems by buying and managing private land.
Tasmania has a wonderful natural heritage, with over 40% of the state already protected by magnificent reserves. Despite this, many of our unique species are still under threat, with over 700 species of wildlife and plants in danger of extinction.
The TLC aims to protect areas of high conservation values for species which are not adequately protected. Small but crucial parts of the jigsaw, which contribute to our goal – the creation of a network of natural areas that truly deliver long-term security for our native species and ecosystems.
The Bookend Trust
The Bookend Trust inspires people to become involved in working towards positive and cooperative environmental solutions.
The bookend trust is an independent organization, unique because it aims to involve all disciplines and age groups. At the bookend trust we believe that anyone can become involved in working toward positive environmental solutions, whether you’re a student building a career or an established professional making a contribution of time, money or expertise. Any skills and experience can have an environmental application – from areas of science, multi-media, business, journalism, arts , law, building design or marketing, work in all disciplines can make a difference.
Save The Tasmanian Devil Program
Save The Tasmanian Devil Program is the official response to the threat to the survival of the Tasmanian devil. The Program is an initiative of the Australian and Tasmanian governments in partnership with the University of Tasmania. Their website is your primary source for authoritative, up to date information on Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD). They will keep you informed of what is being done to save the Tasmanian devil and how you can help.
Save The Tasmanian Devil Program Appeal
The Save The Tasmanian Devil Program Appeal is the only official fundraising entity that direct funds in full to Australia’s national response to Devil Facial Tumour Disease, through the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program.
So, 100% of the funds raised by the Appeal go to the research and management activities that have been prioritised as important to the long-term solution to Devil Facial Tumour Disease and the aim to keep Tasmanian devils sustainable in the wild. All donations over $2 are fully tax deductable and GST exempt in Australia.
Sponsor now (tax deductible)
Payment gateway Note:
We are building an automatic payment system at the moment to receive donations directly through to a dedicated fund managed by the Tasmanian Land conservancy, (T.L.C). Prior to then, please simply email us with details regarding your specific donation and we’ll be in touch with the payment method.
The Tarkine Devil project offers individuals, groups and businesses a unique opportunity to collaborate and contribute toward saving the Tasmanian Devil. At its heart, the project is about making the Devil science accessible to the broader community, a direct and exciting pathway for the community and business to engage in the challenge of understanding and protecting this iconic Tasmanian animal.
We have two main donation focus points on our wish list. You can either sponsor the cameras themselves outright, or simply make a donation toward the attainment of any of our general goals. All donations are made via the Tasmanian Land conservancy and are tax deductible.
Sponsoring a motion sensor camera – $700.00
By sponsoring one of the projects 45 remote motion sensing cameras, you fund the care and maintenance of that camera and help us to raise vital cash for the longevity of the project.
Your camera will be named by you and allocated a place in the Devil project websites gallery, (coming soon).
Download your cameras images from the gallery and showcase them to your clients/friends and family.
You can also use your sponsorship of the camera to canvass further support for the project. Tell your community what you’re doing and why and invite them to support you.
We estimate that annual maintenance of each camera costs $100 including batteries, breakdowns etc. So get as many people behind you as possible to help keep your camera alive and well.
Make a tally of how much your camera raises for the project and at the end of year one, we’ll pick the highest fundraiser and press release your efforts.
Basically all of things we require to keep the project alive and well including:
Batteries, 12 AA batteries per camera, changed on regular intervals
Laptops for field research.
Fuel for extra research trips to and from the Tarkine.
Refueling Bait canisters