JOIN the Devil in wild ancient forests in its battle for survival!
Welcome to the Tarkine Devil project, an initiative and partnership between two unique Tasmanian businesses, Tarkine Trails and the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, and two award-winning not-for-profit organisations, the Tasmanian Land Conservancy and the Bookend Trust.
“The Tarkine remains a blind spot in research to tackle the devil facial tumor disease. Possibly the last remaining wild sanctuary for healthy devils, it’s a wild and remote area that is very difficult to access and carry out monitoring research. The Tarkine Devil Project is making what would normally be a hugely expensive research initiative achievable - it's a very exciting project.”
- Dr Menna Jones, leading Devil researcher, UTAS.
- Install hidden motion sensor cameras throughout the Tarkine to help track and monitor the spread of Devil Facial Tumour Disease and its movement through the landscape.
- Update schools and the broader community with this research as it happens, through the live camera feeds, education kits and the opportunity for direct hands on experiences with the science via wilderness walks and experiences in this area.
HOW WILL THE PROJECT WORK?
- An Honours project at the UTAS School of Zoology, under the guidance of renowned Devil researcher Dr Menna Jones, is studying the distribution of Devils within the Tarkine.
- A ‘sentinel’ monitoring project will then start, with our hidden motion sensing cameras strategically placed in those areas most highly used by Devils. This live camera feed will be ongoing, subject to sponsorship, providing a wall of eyes directly into the heart of one of Tasmania's most stunning wilderness areas. In addition to the Devil and the disease, the cameras will tell us about the movements of other species, from quolls to feral cats.
- Through the Bookend Trust, secondary students in regional Tasmania will visit the Tarkine to take part in data collection and resetting the cameras, experiencing ancient rainforest that many may otherwise never visit.
- Through Tarkine Trails, the broader community will also have the opportunity to directly visit these sites and take their own place in the research.
Initial funding from the Eric Guiler Community Grant is enabling the initial rollout of cameras, while support from the Department of Education is enabling engagement with schools. Public support is being sought to help the program run in the longer term, through sponsorship of the ongoing operation of the cameras, support in the development of promotional materials, and direct participation in visits to the area.
Cameras will initially be placed in areas that are commonly accessed by Tarkine Trails guides and visitors. These positions will be refined once Devil use of the area is better known. These locations include:
Tiger Ridge (project base camp) - a remote and exclusive wilderness camp in the south east corner of the Tarkine owned by Tarkine Trails. Perfectly positioned to the west of the Tarkine's eastern boundary, Tiger Ridge sits at the current front of the extent of the disease, estimated to be travelling 5kms west per year.
The Tarkine rainforest track - the Tarkine’s only multiday rainforest walk. For most 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.
The Tarkine coast walk - a hot spot for Devils, often seen in broad daylight. Far removed form the disease front, the Tarkine coastline should remain Disease free for at least 8 to10 years at the current rate of spread. For now, cameras monitoring Devils along this stretch of coast will provide information on this little known haven.