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Help devils thrive in the wild

Tasmanian devil

"Soon I will be starting a new life - Please help me!"

My name is Fantômette and I live on Maria Island, located off the east coast of Tasmania. Named after a legendary French superhero by a visiting volunteer-student, I am now embarking on my own amazing adventure. I am asking you to be part of my incredible journey, to help my devilish friends and I thrive.

My grandmother, Lolita, travelled here in 2012 as part of a world first trial - the Maria Island devil translocation project. Along with 27 other devils, she was flown to the island and upon arrival transported by car to a remote release site. The hope was to establish a self-sustaining population, which has come true.

Both Lolita and my mother Guernsey have loved their home; there has been plenty of food, sunshine and other devils to meet. They even told me that the humans left clothing around which has been great for their nesting material.However, I too wanted to travel and be part of a transformational journey and start a new life

Along with some of my friends, I am being flown by light plane to a beautiful mountainous area of Tasmania known as wukalina/Mount William. This is part of the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program’s Wild Devil Recovery Project.

Selected because of my age, genetics and behaviour – apparently, I am a perfect fit for this wild release!

A hardworking vet called Ruth will give me a vaccination that she hopes will help protect me from Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD). I will also have a bleach mark placed on my back to make me more visible to researchers and I will be fitted with a GPS collar so I can be tracked in real-time.

I know that I am embarking on a new life, an adventure that would not have been possible without commitment and vision of many people. They want to ensure an enduring population of devils living in the wild.

The research goal is to produce a one-shot vaccine that will ensure every devil released into the wild is safe from DFTD and the next few years are critical.

This year, I am part of a bold project. By making a gift, you can be too.

Published on: 29 May 2017 1:19pm