Tasmanian Devil

Meet the world's largest carnivorous marsupial found only in Tasmania.

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Tasmanian devil - The world's largest carnivorous marsupial and is found only in Tasmania.
Image thanks to: Wai Nang Poon

Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary
Image thanks to: Tourism Tasmania & Petra Harris

Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) - Bonorong Wildlife Park
Image thanks to: Tourism Tasmania & Rob Burnett

Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) - Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary
Image thanks to: Tourism Tasmania & Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary

Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) - Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary
Image thanks to: Tourism Tasmania & Barrie Irons

Tasmanian Devil Unzoo - Experience a close up and personal view
Image thanks to: Courtesy of Tasmanian Devil Unzoo

Trowunna Wildlife Park - The world's largest heritage population of endangered Tasmanian Devils.
Image thanks to: Tourism Tasmania & Trowunna Wildlife Park

Tasmanian Devil

Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii), Tasmania, AustraliaThese infamous creatures are the world’s largest carnivorous marsupial. Their powerful jaws, sharp claws, and intense screeches give them a fierce reputation that led to their name. They have mostly black fur with white markings on the chest. They have a squat build with a short, thick tail. Male Tasmanian Devils can weigh up to 12kg, and females up to 10kg.

This nocturnal scavenger will travel up to 16 km to find food. They’ll search out whatever is available and are known for feeding on carcasses – bones and fur included! Their powerful teeth enable it to completely devour their prey, alive or dead. They feed on roadkill and as a result are often hit by cars. Wallabies, reptiles, small mammals, and carcasses of sheep and cattle are all fair game. They have a slow gait but can speed up when needed.

Although they are known for their fear-inducing noises, this comes more from fear than aggression. They make a variety of unique noises, including a sharp sneeze that is used when confronting other devils and they are about to fight. Under duress they are known to produce a strong odour but do not feature an obtrusive smell when they are calm. Image thanks to Wai Nang Poon.

Why Only in Tasmania & History/Distribution

Although the devil is now an icon to the island state of Tasmania, it once populated mainland Australia as well. It became extinct there 400 years ago as a result of changing weather patterns and the spread of the dingo, which did not enter Tasmania.
Historically the devils were not appreciated by the European settlers of Hobart and considered a threat to their poultry yards. For more than a century they were killed off and almost became extinct.
Trowunna Wildlife Park , Tasmania, AustraliaThey were ultimately protected by law in June 1941. Following this their population increased in forest, woodland, and agricultural areas and it was chosen as the symbol of the Tasmanian National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Sadly, the 1996 identification of Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) has had a devastating effect on the population. It is a fatal condition which is diagnosed by cancers around the mouth and head. The red fox was also introduced to Tasmania in 1999 or 2000, which competes with the juvenile devils for den sites and habitat. Due to these growing threats, the devil’s status was formally upgraded to ‘endangered’ in May 2008 under Tasmania’s Threatened Species Protection Act 1995.

Meanwhile, they have become wholly protected since the Federal Government included the devil under the Commonwealth’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Image thanks to Tourism Tasmania & Trowunna Wildlife Park.

Habitat

Populations of Tasmanian devils can be found throughout the island, from the coastal regions to the mountain ranges. As long as they can find shelter and food they can usually make a home there. From suburban fringes to sclerophyll rainforests, they can be found. However, as they are shy, nocturnal creatures they are hard to find and not seen easily.

Breeding

Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) - Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary , Tasmania, AustraliaAfter a 21 day gestation period (mate in March and born in April), the average number of young that survive is 2 or 3. The mother can accommodate up to 4 since her backward-opening pouch has 4 teats. They remain in the pouch for approximately 4 months before they emerge and live in a den for a few months. After this, they are ready to set out alone and have left the mother by late December. They live up to 7-8 years and start breeding at the end of their second year. Image thanks to Tourism Tasmania & Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary.

Where to See a Tasmanian Devil

Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary , Tasmania, AustraliaBeing a nocturnal scavenger, they are difficult to find in the wild. Therefore, the best place to view them up close is in one of the several animal parks in Tasmania listed below. Image thanks to Tourism Tasmania & Petra Harris.

Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary – Brighton
Trowunna Wildlife Park – Mole Creek
East Coast Natureworld – Bicheno
Tasmanian Devil Unzoo – Taranna, Tasman Peninsula.
[email protected] Tasmanian Devil Sanctuary – Cradle Mountain

What to do

Tasmanian Devil

Tasmanian Devil Unzoo entry and tour

Tasman Peninsula - Taranna

Tasmanian Devil Unzoo is a unique four-in-one wildlife nature experience that combines up-close encounters with Tasmania's special native animals, wildlife adventures, a Tasmanian native garden and original art.

AU$35

1 Day Adventure

AU$35

1 Day Adventure

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It only takes 2 minutes

Devil Tracker Adventure and Unzoo

Tasman Peninsula

Join a 1.5 hour 4WD research and conservation adventure to discover how we are saving the last safe wild natural population of Tasmanian devils on Earth. Includes entry to the Unzoo.

AU$99

1.5 Hour Experience

AU$99

1.5 Hour Experience

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It only takes 2 minutes

Morning at Bonorong

Locally Guided, Scenic Derwent river valley. Bonorong Wildlife feeding session included. Kangaroos, Devils, Wombats, Koala.

AU$75

AU$75

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It only takes 2 minutes

Mt Field, Salmon Ponds and Tasmanian Devils Day Tour

New Norfolk

Mt Field, Salmon Ponds, Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary

AU$189

AU$189

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It only takes 2 minutes

Private Mt Wellington, Tasmanian Devils, Richmond Day Tour from Hobart

Mt Wellington, Tasmanian Devils, Richmond, Wicked Cheese, Puddleduck Vineyard, Barilla Bay Oysters, Rosny Lookout.

AU$179

AU$179

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It only takes 2 minutes

Bonorong + Mt. Wellington Combo

Visit Bonorong Sanctuary in the morning. Join guided wildlife tour & feed friendly Kangaroos. Back in Hobart we have a lunch layover (1hr) by the waterfront. Next we explore Mt. Wellington, the summit lookout and visit Cascade brewery.

AU$115

AU$115

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It only takes 2 minutes

Bonorong Wild Sanctuary + Mt Wellington

Mt Wellington / Bonorong Wild Sanctuary

Hobart Pickup at 12:00am -Mt Wellington - BONORONG Wild Sanctuary -Old Beach and Otago Bay to Lindisfarne - Tasman Bridge home to your accommodation 4:00pm

AU$106

5 Hour Tour

AU$106

5 Hour Tour

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It only takes 2 minutes

Bonorong Wild Sanctuary - Richmond Village + Mt Wellington Tour

Bonorong - Richmond Village - Mt Wellington

Hobart Pickup at 9.00am - Mt Wellington - Sandy Bay - Battery Point - BONORONG Wild Sanctuary - Richmond Village - Lunch Coal River Farm - Back to Hobart via the Tasman Bridge

AU$115

5 Hour Tour

AU$115

5 Hour Tour

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It only takes 2 minutes

7 Day Tasmanian Wildlife and Wilderness Encounter

Launceston - East Coast

Tasmania provides a rare opportunity to encounter unique and endemic wildlife in a geographically concentrated area. On this tour you will have a chance to see wombats, wallaby, endemic bird species and the popular Tasmanian devil.

AU$4290

7 Day Tour

AU$4290

7 Day Tour

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It only takes 2 minutes

8 Day Tasmanian Wildlife and Wilderness Encounter

Launceston

Tasmania provides a rare opportunity to encounter unique and endemic wildlife in a geographically concentrated area. On this tour you will have a chance to see wombats, wallaby, endemic bird species and the popular Tasmanian devil.

AU$4998

8 Day Tour

AU$4998

8 Day Tour

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It only takes 2 minutes

WILD HOBART

WILD HOBART, an intimate, local experience aimed to showcase local favourites. Visit diverse attractions and sample world class produce. All inclusive, small group (8 max) day-trip. Nature - Wildlife - Food - Wine - Whisky. Low impact.

AU$199

AU$199

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It only takes 2 minutes

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