The Tasmanian Devil, Sarcophilus harrisii, is about the size of a small to moderate sized Dog. A large male can weigh up to about 12 kilograms (26 pounds).
The Tasmanian Devil now only lives wild in Tasmania and some smaller islands. It used to live on the Mainland as well. They probably became extinct on Raccoon Removal Orlando the mainland about 400 years back. This was before European settlement. Competition with feral Dingos may have been one of the causes of its extinction.
Largest Carnivorous Marsupial
The Tasmanian Devil is the largest Marsupial Carnivore. This also means that it’s the biggest carnivorous Mammal native to Australia still in Existence. When Europeans first came to Australia, there was one Carnivorous Marsupial larger. This was the Thylacine or Tasmanian Tiger. Of course there are larger Carnivores in Australia. The biggest one is the badly named Salt Water Crocodile.
Though the Devil will certainly hunt, it’s largely a scavenger. It does an important job on farms, eating any dead animals. The very strong jaws allow it to eat all areas of the animal including bones. If a large animal dies there may be a variety of those scavengers round the carcase making quite alarming noises. Their natural prey includes Wallabies such as the Tasmanian Pademelon. They’ll eat whatever animal they can catch or find like birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects and things washed up on the beach.
For more than a hundred years this creature, along with the Thylacine was shot, trapped and poisoned. The Thylacine is now probably extinct, and it seemed that the Devil was going the same way. In 1941 it was given complete protection under the law. Then they were hit by a devastating disease.
This fatal disease causes cancers around the animal’s mouth, face, neck and sometimes other areas of the body. Where the devil population is large, as much as 90 percent of these animals are dying. The numbers of this iconic animal are decreasing.
Foxes have to Tasmania. So far they’re only present at low densities, but if they’re permitted to increase their impact on the Devils is unknown, but potentially devastating. On the mainland they’ve contributed to the extinction of several species.