In just 12 months, the generosity of people from around the world has funded more than $1 million in research and conservation programs to fight the deadly Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD).
The Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal, which is administered by the University of Tasmania Advancement Office, announced the latest round of grants and scholarships, worth more than $375,000.
Combined with more than $625,000 awarded in April 2017, this brings the amount of research and projects funded by the community to more than a million dollars in just one year, said the Advancement Office’s Rebecca Cuthill.
“The Devil Facial Tumour Disease has had a catastrophic impact on our beloved Tasmanian icon,” Mrs Cuthill said.
“This quite remarkable fundraising figure shows just how the plight of the Tasmanian devil has touched the hearts of so many people here in Tasmania and beyond.
“The community’s generosity plays an important role in supporting world-class research to help safeguard a secure future for the Tasmanian devil.
“This latest round of grants will fund science that explores how devils respond to translocation, that helps efforts to develop a DFTD vaccine and that monitors immunised devils released in the wild, and much more.”
The Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal has been raising money for significant research and conservation programs since 2005. Each year, funds are distributed through a competitive scholarship and grants process.
Some of the successfully funded research initiatives include:
- Monitoring DFTD immunised devils after their release in the wild;
- DFTD tumour genetics: sharing and disseminating research results;
- Identification of devil facial tumour-associated antigens for vaccine development;
- Evaluating epidemiological and population dynamics in response to devil translocations.