09 Feb CATCH THEM IF YOU CAN!
The first trapping session in the famous Aussie Ark Barrington Wildlife Sanctuary is underway.
The focus? Each and every Tasmanian Devil joeys and Eastern quoll joeys born in the sanctuary last season. That’s an estimated 13 new Devils and 73 new quolls.
Aussie Ark Operations Manager Dean Reid orchestrated the ambitious trapping process. “Every joey born in the Barrington Wildlife Sanctuary needs to be captured and recorded,” Mr Reid said. “It’s an exciting time for us, as these animals have never been health checked before!”
Staff firstly check the animal with a microchip reader. If no microchip is detected, they know they are handling a new animal that has never been captured before.
Each joey then receives a microchip, which enables Aussie Ark to track their lives into the future. And each joey also receives a studbook number for genetic records, and a name.
“For this first round of trapping we decided to honour donors and supporters with the naming,” Mr Reid said. “So we now have a young Devil called Bev and another called Mary. And we have two quoll joeys called Lola and Phoenix!”
Mr Reid is affectionately known as the ‘Devil whisperer’ up at the Ark. Although he is passionate about all the iconic endangered species cared for by the organisation, the Devil has a special place in his heart. Mr Reid has successfully hand-raised many Devil orphans, so to get acquaint himself with the ‘wild’ born joeys is a thrill.
“Most of the joeys we are trapping in the sanctuary have never encountered humans before,” Mr Reid said. “They have been born in dens, in a wild environment. To have this opportunity to ‘meet’ them and name them, and see how healthy they are, is a real affirmation of how successful the sanctuary is. They may be extinct on mainland Australia, but they’re thriving within our feral-proof 400-hectare oasis. It makes me really proud.”
To successfully process all the new joeys born last season, the Aussie Ark team will continue intermittent trapping for up to a year.
Aussie Ark would like to thank their partners WIRES, Rewild, Wild Ark, Australian Reptile Park, Australian Geographic, Glencore, Volkswagen and Bev Barendse Coast Realty for supporting their Tasmanian Devil program, as well as their community donors and supporters.
You can support Aussie Ark and our Tasmanian devil breeding program by donating today!