Tasmanian devils are carnivorous marsupials. They are dog-like in appearance, with short, squat legs, rough black hair and wide mouths. Males can weigh up to 12 kilograms. Their characteristic scream sounds out during battles and hunting. These unique animals are threatened through both destruction of habitat and natural disease.
The Tasmanian devil lives on the island of Tasmania in Australia. They lived in the mainland of Australia as well, though fossils suggest they died out in mainland Australia in the 1600s, before Europeans settled there.
Tasmanian devils live in woodland, forest and grassland alike, In Tasmania, they inhabit areas of coastal heath, dry sclerophyll forest and mixed sclerophyll-rainforest. Their requirements are for shelter during the day and a good supply of smaller creatures for hunting at night.
As forest dwellers, Tasmanian devils are heavily affected by deforestation, which equates to destruction of habitat for both the devils and the animals they eat. Humans cut down the forest for farming and industry.
Like all wild animals, Tasmanian devils are affected by pollution and the phenomenon of global warming. As habitats are destroyed through air and water pollution, which come from human industry, animals such as Tasmanian devils are becoming more restricted in their habitats.
As humans move into the area, Tasmanian devils find their safe habitats shrinking. Human society brings with it the additional danger of contact being Tasmanian devils and people. This leads to possible death for the devils through accidents with cars.
- squattin' tassie devil image by Matthew Boggs from Fotolia.com