Species: TASMANIAN DEVIL
Scientific name: Sarcophilus harrisii (meaning “Harris’ flesh-lover” – Harris being the surname of the man who first discovered the Devil)
Tasmanian devils were once widespread throughout Australia, however became extinct on the mainland around 400 years ago, most likely due to the competition of the dingo. Tasmanian devils are now only found in Tasmania and as a result, Tasmanian devils have become a huge Tasmanian icon.
Current Distribution and Habitat:
Tasmania is the only place in the world with wild devils, with all other devil populations only being found in wildlife parks or Zoos.
Devils are very adaptable and therefore are capable of living in a variety of habitats from coastal to alpine. This adaptability has allowed the Tasmanian devil to become hugely widespread throughout Tasmania, even in spite of the significant reduction in population size due to DTFD.
In 2008, it was estimated by Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries and Water that there was somewhere between 10,000 and 100,000 devils left in the wild, however it is assumed that only between 10,000-15,000 is likely.
The preferred habitats of devils include open woodlands and dry sclerophyll forests, however they will happily live anywhere that gives them a place to hide and use for shelter during the day (e.g., stumps and logs, under rocks or in burrows), as well as a place that provides them with food throughout the night.
Devils use 3-4 different dens regularly within their habitat and adults tend to use the same dens for life. Old wombat dens are often the most sought after by devils, especially for females looking for someone to raise their young, due to their security.