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Posts Tagged "devil facial tumor disease"

Extinction Countdown

Updates from the Brink: Dying Devils, Disappearing Vultures and a $473,000 Fish

When I last wrote about Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii) this past December, the species was in pretty dire straits. A contagious cancer known as Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD) had, at that point, wiped out at least 70 percent of devils in the wild, forcing scientists to resort to captive breeding, a sperm bank and [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Platypus Populations on Small Australian Islands Show Lack of Genetic Diversity, High Risk of Disease

Last year we learned that climate change could soon make Australia too hot for the cold-loving, iconic platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus). Now we have word of a new threat to these unique, egg-laying mammals: inbreeding, which has put the platypuses living on two small Australian islands at enhanced risk of disease. According to research published March [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Sperm Bank and Reproductive Research Could Help Save Tasmanian Devils from Extinction

Tasmanian devil

A diseased and emaciated Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) was found last week on a golf course in the town of Zeehan on Tasmania’s west coast. Like many of its kind, the animal suffered from the deadly, transmittable cancer known as Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD), which has wiped out at least 70 percent and possibly [...]

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Extinction Countdown

News from the Brink: Good News for Tasmanian Devils, Puerto Rican Parrots and Southern Right Whales

Not every story about endangered species is horrible. Sometimes there’s some good news mixed in with the bad. Although none of these stories is worth dancing in the streets over, each nonetheless merits at least a little bit of celebration. Tasmanian devil DNA Scientist from Penn State University and other institutions have completed sequencing the [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Has an infectious cancer doomed Tasmanian devils to extinction?

Tasmanian Devil Facial Cancer

Are Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii) doomed to extinction in the wild? The infectious cancer known as devil facial tumor disease (DFTD) has killed off as much as 90 percent of the world’s Tasmanian devils since it was first observed in 1996 (up from 70 percent when we last wrote about the species nine months ago). [...]

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Extinction Countdown

“Glimmer of hope”: A Tasmanian devil colony displays possible immunity to deadly facial tumor disease

Tasmanian devil with devil facial tumor disease

Nearly 70 percent of the world’s Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii) have been killed in the past 10 years by an infectious cancer called devil facial tumor disease (DFTD). So far, no cure has been found, and the disease has spread to almost every corner of the remote island off the southeastern coast of Australia, the [...]

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Extinction Countdown

New test creates hope for cancer-plagued Tasmanian devils

Nearly 70 percent of the world’s Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii) have been wiped out in the past 10 years by a contagious cancer known as devil facial tumor disease (DFTD). Now a new test could help determine which devils are carrying the disease before symptoms show up, enabling conservationists to move cancer-free creatures to quarantined [...]

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