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Tasmanian devils listed?

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Bob Brown, Senator for Tasmania

Tasmanian devils to be listed?

21st May 04

"There are now serious moves within governments to list Tasmania’s mascot, the Tasmanian devil, as threatened with extinction," Greens Senator Bob Brown said today.

"Both the Tasmanian Environment Minister Bryan Green and his federal counterpart David Kemp will face a decision to list the once abundant animal.

"The catastrophic population fall of the devil, which is reeling from a cancerous disease, threatens its survival stakes," Senator Brown said.

"Other measures should be considered immediately to help the devil survive, including a ban on the clearing of its habitat on both private and public lands.

"Tasmanians are asking what impact stress from habitat loss, logging and 1080 poisoning is having on the devil populations and whether these processes are making the devils more vulnerable to disease. They are also asking whether diseases in feral cats have crossed species with disastrous results.

"If this disease is transmissible, it is not only a danger to public health and to domestic animals but it also threatens the other members of the Dasyurid family, including the tiger quoll. Whilst it is terrific that businesses have donated to the research effort,

saving this species should not have to depend on a public appeal.

"The state and commonwealth governments should immediately increase research funding and efforts to discover the cause of this disease. We have lost the thylacine.

"It would be an indictment on us all if we were to lose the Tasmanian devil as well," Senator Brown concluded.

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