Wild female Tasmanian devils have mating habits that could pose a challenge for conservationists trying to maintain genetic diversity in species recovery programs, found Morris Animal Foundation-funded researchers at the University of Sydney.
The research team discovered that Tasmanian devil females can be polyandrous, or have multiple mating partners, and their male partners can be younger than once thought. The team published their findings in the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society.
Devil facial tumour disease 1 (DFT1) and the recently discovered devil facial tumour 2 (DFT2) have decimated wild Tasmanian devil populations. Save the Tasmanian Devil Program, an initiative by the Tasmanian and Australian governments, was established to maintain an enduring, ecologically functional population of Tasmanian devils in the wild with a captive, insurance population of animals free from DFT1 and DFT2. MORE