Now listed as endangered, the Tasmanian Devil is the largest living carnivorous marsupial in the world.

It once lived on mainland Australia, but has only appeared in our island state since pre-European settlement. An 80% reduction in sightings of the Tasmanian Devil tells us the population is in rapid decline.

Major threats

The survival of Tasmanian Devils is seriously threatened by Devil Facial Tumour Disease which develops rapidly and is fatal. As soon as the infectious cancerous tumours appear around the mouth, face and neck, the Devils die within six months.

The other threat is cars (and their drivers) killing them on the roads. 

The plan for fighting extinction

Zoos Victoria, through Healesville Sanctuary, is part of the Save the Tasmanian Devil program. We aim to breed and manage up to 50 Devils for at least ten years. In 2013, 2015 and 2017, Tasmanian Devils were released to locations free of the tumour disease on Maria Island and the Tasman Peninsula. Zoos Victoria also assists with monitoring the animals that have been released into the wild.

How you can help

  • Donate if you can. We're a not-for-profit organisation, so all donations help with conservation and programs such as Save the Tasmanian Devil.
  • Visiting our zoos also supports our work to fight extinction.
  • Discover more about local conservation events and join the growing number of wild activists taking action for local wildlife.

You can see Tasmanian Devils at both Healesville Sanctuary and Melbourne Zoo.

Population Trend:
Number left in the wild:
Fewer than 15,000

Conservation Status

  • LC
    Least Concern
  • NT
    Near Threatened
  • VU
  • EN
  • CR
    Critically Endangered
  • EW
    Extinct in the Wild
  • EX