In response to my recent article Fresh Air I have decided to share a little about some native Tasmanin wildlife.
When you hear Tasmania, you are probably like most people and think of the Tasmanian Devil. This little guy looks nothing like the Warner Bos. cartoon character, but he does have some attitude. He is only found in Tasmania and he is the largest carnivorous marsupial in the world – a title he took from his extinct friend the Thylacine (see below).
The devils can make some pretty ferocious noises and are pretty aggressive when they’re eating.
Sadly, the devils are now an endangered species due to the devil facial tumour disease. A fried of mine is a scientist working on the project to find a cure.
Tasmania’s other iconic animal is the Thylacine – colloquially known as the Tasmanian Tiger. These guys were oficially declared extinct in the 1980s, although they had pretty much been wiped out since the 1930s.
Thylacines were one of only two marsupials in the world to have a pouch in both sexes.
On the boat from Devonport to Sydney, I heard a presentation from a park ranger who was convinced that there were still living Thylacines out there somewhere. Who knows.
The native hen is a bird you often see around Tassie. Despite their name they are not usually eaten. They are flightless.
I often see native hens at a nearby park near the Tamar River that I sometimes take my kids to. I also see them at the tourist village Grindlewald.
- Tasmanian Devil: Wayne McLean
- Naive Hen: Noodle snacks
- Thylacine: E.J. Keller, from the Smithsonian Institution archives.