The University of Newcastle, Australia

Extinction Prevention

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Endangered native predators such as Tasmanian devils could be reintroduced to the wild of mainland Australia using rapid, next-generation genomics technology*.

Tasmanian Devil yawningResearchers also plan to develop a "generic" Australian wildlife app to track animals in the wild.

The research, which would be part of the proposed Wildlife Biodiversity Co-operative Research Centre, aimed to re-establish Tasmanian devils in the wild in Victoria's Wilsons Promontory National Park.

The project, which would help prevent the extinction of devils in the wild by 2025, would also target spotted-tailed quolls and eastern quolls for reintroduction as well as other endangered animals such as bandicoots and the rat kangaroo.

"We are not trying to reintroduce everything, but we have around about a half a dozen species which are being seriously considered," CRC bid director John Rodger said. Tasmanian devils, which once existed in the wild on the mainland, are today only found in zoos outside of Tasmania. 

Professor Rodger, who is based at the University of Newcastle, said genomics technology would be developed to screen for genetic markers so that animals could be selected for a range of desirable traits.

* Story published by the Australian and written by Jennifer Foreshew. Read the full article online at The Australian. More information also available at the University of Newcastle BLOG.

  • Sheena Martin
  • Phone: +61 2 4921 8714

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