• Christine Milne: Devil disease footage a grim warning
Today members of Code Green have released footage of a diseased Tasmanian devil found within the area known as The Tarkine. The group has been deploying remote sensor cameras in the area to survey presence of threatened species as part of their ongoing biodiversity studies in proposed mining areas.
Field Veterinary Officer Dr. Colette Harmsen looked at the footage today collected by Code Green and said that “the lesion on the devil’s face looked very suspiciously like DFTD but histopathology was the only way to be absolutely certain”.
Members of the group are extremely concerned that the discovery of DFTD in the Tarkine means that every process that increases the rate of contact between devils in the area will increase the rate of spread of disease. “Any disturbances to habitat in the area such as forestry, road construction and mining ventures will impact severely on this critically endangered species.” said Code Green member Jared Irwin. “We need the state and federal governments to prioritise the immediate cessation of habitat degradation in the area to give the devils the best chance to survive in the wild.” he said.
GPS coordinates GDA-MGA:(UTM with GRS80 ellipsoid)Zone: 55 Easting: 362142.000 Northing: 5380982.000
Latitude: -41 ° 42 ‘ 39.65360 ” Longitude:145 ° 20 ‘ 34.46166 ” Grid Convergence:-1 ° 6 ‘ 9.94 ”Point Scale: 0.99983387
Camera model: ScoutGuard SG550V
Date set: 29/01/12 Activation time: 1639
Date Retrieved: 18/02/2012 Time: 1520
• Christine Milne: Devil disease footage a grim warning
Released footage of a diseased Tasmanian devil in an area of the Tarkine earmarked for mining development shows there is an urgent need for federal government intervention before the devil slides into extinction, Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Christine Milne said today.
“This is the news that has long been feared. The Tasmanian devil’s final disease free stronghold in the Tarkine has now been breached.”
“The diseased devil was picked up on remote imaging equipment placed on a proposed Venture Minerals mining site in the Tarkine well beyond where the devil facial tumour had last been verified.
“This will spell disaster for the devil if the government signs off on increased mining in the region, meaning facial tumour disease will be fast tracked to parts of the Tarkine still with healthy populations.
“It is vital now that the Government intervenes with an immediate halt on further development within the Tarkine.
“Tony Burke can no longer delay when this evidence paints in black and white the necessity for immediate action.
“With the Tarkine devil population now under threat, protection from development is a must as the chance of this population surviving facial tumour disease relies now on minimising other impacts on the region.
“Disease in the area means every single activity that leads to increased contact between devils, such as roads being used more frequently and increased feeding around roadkill, will lead to an explosion of the disease throughout the Tarkine.
“Why is it that Minister Burke’s department, with money and resources readily available, are frequently the last to hear of the dire situation facing the devil? It should not be up to environmental groups to inform the public when the government is charged with assessing the potential impacts of mining within the region.
“The Minister’s current lackadaisical approach to determining the impact of mining the region will no longer be tolerated by Tasmanians as they associate government delay and inaction with a willingness to sign off on the extinction of the devil.
“No more delays, Minister Burke. You are considering the destruction of a pristine wilderness, and now by association you are toying with the existence of the iconic Tasmanian devil.”
• Scott Jordan, Tarkin National Coalition: Discovery of Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease in the Tarkine
Tarkine National Coalition has described the discovery of Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease at Mt Lindsay in the Tarkine as a tragedy.
“The Tarkine has been for a number of years the last bastion of disease free devils, and news that the disease has been found in the south eastern zone of the Tarkine is devastating news”, said Tarkine National Coalition spokesperson Scott Jordan.
“It is now urgent that the federal and state governments step up and take immediate action to prevent any factors that may exacerbate or accelerate the transmission of this disease to the remaining healthy populations in the Tarkine”.
“The decisions made today will have a critical impact on the survival of the Devil in the wild. Delay is no longer an option – today is the day for action.”
“They should start by reinstating the Emergency National Heritage Listing and placing an immediate halt on all mineral exploration activity in the Tarkine to allow EPBC assessments.”
• DEVIL DISEASE TRAGEDY STRIKES TARKINE
Paul O’Halloran MP
Greens Member for Braddon
The Tasmanian Greens today said that the latest discovery of diseased Tasmanian devils inside the Tarkine was a tragedy, and gave added urgency to the need to protect the area from further environmental damage.
Greens Member for Braddon Paul O’Halloran MP said that the discovery should be wake up call about the need to protect the Tarkine from environmental threats that could hasten the spread of the disease.
“It’s a terrible tragedy to discover that the facial tumour disease has infiltrated what was the last disease-free refuge for Tasmanian devils,” Mr O’Halloran said.
“We cannot risk putting further environmental stress on this region, through fragmentation by new roads and the expansion of industrial activity.”
“Protecting the Tarkine region is vital in the struggle to maintain the healthiest-possible population of Tasmanian devils possible, and to prevent this iconic species from slipping away.”