Tasmanian conservationists may have decided to introduce endangered species Tasmanian devil After a new study reveals on a small island that alien invaders have wiped out an entire small colony Penguins I live there.
Tasmanian devil (Tasmanian devil), The largest in the world Carnivorous Marsupials were introduced by the Tasmanian Primary Industrial Park Water Environment Authority (DPIPWE) in 2012 on Maria Island, an island 45 square miles (116 square kilometers) east of Tasmania. Government agencies are a new demon population to prevent species from being wiped out by a reduced number of deadly diseases in Tasmania.
But one kind of introduction meant the end of another kind. A new DPIPWE survey shows that the introduction of the devil on the island has wiped out 3,000 little penguin breeding pairs (Little penguin) According to living on the island Parents..
Critics are now blaming DPIPWE’s decision to introduce the devil to Maria Island and its subsequent response to the ministry’s situation.
“This was a predictable and avoidable result,” Eric Woehler, an ornithologist at the University of Tasmania and head of the conservation group Bird Life Tasmania, told Live Science.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature, which maintains a list of endangered species, classifies Tasmanian devils as endangered. One of the major threats to this species is the emergence of a rapidly transmitting cancer known as devil facial tumor disease. The disease has killed 90% of the population (mostly limited to Tasmania) since its first outbreak in 1990. Live science Previously reported. DPIPWE scientists believed that the only way to prevent the extinction of the devil was to create an isolated population of healthy individuals away from Tasmania.
In addition to keeping the devil safe on Maria Island, conservationists believed that the transplanted individuals would help control the population of small predator islands such as stray cats and possums. According to the Guardian, authorities have traditionally screened predators to protect bird populations instead.
A similar attempt to introduce the Tasmanian devil to mainland Australia has been successful, with Live Science previously reporting that the wild demon was born in mainland Australia for the first time in more than 3,000 years. However, according to the Guardian, Maria Island’s new population has grown rapidly from 28, introduced between 2012 and 2013, to more than 100 by 2016.
“The devil population is currently managed to reach a population range of 60-90,” a DPIPWE spokeswoman told Live Science to “reduce the impact on the island’s ecosystem.” Claims to be the current estimated carrying capacity of.
With its population boom, the Tasmanian devil became the dominant predator on Maria Island, and some endemic species, such as small penguins, could not adapt fast enough to survive the onslaught. ..
“The devil ate adults and young people,” Wooler said. “The unpredated penguins abandoned their colonies in the face of predatory pressure,” perhaps joining Tasmania, Australia, and even other colonies in New Zealand.
The devil also killed and ate the Short-tailed Shearwater (Short-tailed Shearwater), A study published in the journal in 2020 has significantly reduced the number of birds on Maria Island. Biological protection..
Another bird species that is endangered by the devil’s appetite is the cape barren goose.Cereopsis novae hollandiae) And Tasmanian natives (Tribonyx mortierii), Woehler said. “All ground-fed and ground-fed bird species are at potential risk,” he added.
One of the biggest criticisms of Mr. Wooler and others on the project is that the organization “doesn’t know” what is happening as a result, as DPIPWE has not properly monitored penguins populations so far. .. “Park staff haven’t monitored for 12 years, but have found no penguins left,” Waller said.
Lack of surveillance also means that it is unclear whether the Tasmanian devil had any effect on predator populations as expected, Woehler said.
However, DPIPWE claims that the surveillance took place on Maria Island, which seems to have helped nothing.
“The Tasmanian Devil Relief Program (STDP) continuously monitors, evaluates and reviews demon populations and program activities,” a DPIPWE spokeswoman told Live Science. “All effective conservation programs are adaptable, and STDP continues to evolve in line with new knowledge and new priorities in science.”
Proper surveillance could have saved the penguins, but the project couldn’t have had a green light in the first place, Woehler said.
According to the Guardian, before the Tasmanian devil was introduced to Maria Island in 2011, DPIPWE said that the introduction of carnivorous marsupials “has a negative impact on Maria Island’s little penguins and shearwater colonies by devil predation.” We have released a forecasted report.
But the desire to save the iconic Tasmanian devils from devil facial tumor disease led to a hasty decision to introduce them regardless, Woehler said.
“Results were predicted by many,” Woehler said. He added that further research should have been done before the devil was introduced to inform DPIPWE’s decision.
Ironically, a study published in a journal in 2020 suggests that Tasmanian indigenous demons are more likely to survive the development of devil facial tumors because the disease spreads much slower. .. Science.. Therefore, the introduction of the Tasmanian devil on Maria Island was ultimately unnecessary.
It’s not too late
The Tasmanian devil brought to Maria Island caused a great deal of ecological damage, but we hope that the problem will be resolved.
By removing the devil from the island, small penguins could go home, Wooler said.
“They are reacting to predator pressure,” Woehler said. “When you release the pressure, the bird will come back.”
However, there are no signs that the devil removal project will be implemented immediately, Wooler said.
Originally published in Live Science.
Tasmanian devils backfire on large-scale nature maintenance and wipe out small penguins colonies
Source link Tasmanian devils backfire on large-scale nature maintenance and wipe out small penguins colonies