PLZ, Save Tasmanian Devils Like Saving Panda!

Tasmanian Devil one of the unique animals in Australia

There are many species of animals are facing extinct, however, some of them are not as popular as panda, Tasmanian Devils are one of the animals in danger. “The name of Devils is confusing that people may have heard of it, but some people don’t really understand what the animal actually looks like” Said by Katherine Farquharson, a PhD candidate of Faculty of Veterinary of Science at the University of Sydney.

About Tasmanian Devil

Tasmanian Devils is the only animals of the family Dasyuridae, which facing the situation of being extinct. Several reasons worsen the situation of Devils, including the Devil Facial Tumour Disease, an infectious tumour disease among Devils, and human effects. Because of the interest and passion of animals, Katherine chose her bachelor of Animal and Veterinary Bioscience. “I think as an Australian species,” Katherine said, “it’s really important that people in Australia to take time to study this species, to pay attention about this animal.” It is not all the Australians know the situation about Tasmanian Devils, by the contract, most of Chinese people know that panda is in danger and need us to save, that might result the situation of Devils being worse.

Tasmanian Devil is one of the Australian animals like koala and kangaroo, which is experiencing a serious situation. The Devil Facial Tumour Disease is definitely being a large cause of a population decline. Katherine added that, “But adding to that, habitat loss problems and road kill, the human effects, are also leading to the decline of wild population of Devils.” Tasmanian Devils have already suffering the disease and the population of Devils is already small on the Tasmania Island. “I think because this animal just occurs in Tasmania, and people in Australia don’t go to Tasmania, don’t understand these issues. But there are a lot of works as well, to save the species. Although in the wild is declining but captive population has been really successful, that what I work on as well.” Katherine told that. The captive population of Devils is managed by the whole project to save Tasmanian Devils among different groups or programs to make sure this population healthy without the Devil Facial Tumour Disease.

Devil with DFTD

The Programs and saving project for Tasmanian Devils

The release of Tasmanian devils need to be monitor to make sure the safety of the Devils from the insurance population back to wild. “It’s a careful process, to pick the right devils that they think could do best in the wild again to make sure that they have the best chance of surviving, in the hope that they won’t get the disease.” The releasing process of the whole project to make sure a natural environment for the captive population and be quarantine from the Devil Facial Tumour Disease. “They can’t get the disease but it still an island of Tasmania called Maria Island. So, it’s like a natural habitat and that’s been very successful. And they currently release more and more next month I think.” Katherine said. The reproduction of the captive Devils in the wild area could help increase the healthy population of wild Devils. Katherine also told me that “the insurance devils, which back to the wild again, will support the wild population but we also need to make sure they have enough captivity to keep the captive population healthy. So, we don’t release them all at once, it’s a balance.”

New Babies of Tasmanian Devils

The group of Katherine in the University of Sydney is cooperate with other programs or organisations such as Save The Tasmanian Devil Program of Tasmanian Government and Zoo and Aquarium Association Australasia (ZAA). “My work has been in collaboration with the ZAA,” Kathrine said, “they are responsible for managing the captive population of devils, ZAA also work with the Save The Tasmanian Devil Program as well. On another aspect, a lot of work that our group does is to do with the genetic diversity of the devils to making sure the population healthy.” Different organisation and programs work on slightly different projects which allow the different parts of the whole saving Tasmanian Devils program to share information with each other. “We share the research, so the different groups work on slightly different projects which allows us to all kind of work together to solve different problems.”

The process of releasing some of insurance Devil population back into the wild is successful. The cooperation with different zoos increase the awareness of people about Devils, however, which is not enough.

To raise the public awareness of Tasmanian Devils is still on a long way

The education for the young generation about Tasmanian Devils in schools in Australia provides the way for students to get the common understanding of Devils and its situation. Katherine told that “Most of young people are quite aware of Tasmanian Devils, or at least, they understand or have heard about the disease.” However, Devils could not be understood as well overseas. Compare with panda in China, the results of the promotion of panda, such as various cartoon characters like Kong Fu Panda, and “panda diplomacy” engage the public to know about panda. The cartoon of Tasmanian Devil who called Taz with sharp tooth and big mouth to make audience have the confusion about what kind of animal that Devils is. “Devils are scavenger rarely attack human or other animals. They keep biological diversity balanced in the Tasmania Island, against the fox. They are cute not like their name like a devil.” As the program—Save The Tasmanian Devil Program — the awareness is growing and coming more international.

Source from:
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“There are currently approximately 600 Tasmanian devils in the captive insurance population in Australia. Moreover, there are currently Tasmanian devils at two zoos in America, three zoos in New Zealand, and one zoo in Denmark. This is part of the ‘Ambassador Devils’ program to promote awareness of the Tasmanian devil overseas.”

Fortunately, the situation of Tasmanian Devils is becoming better by the reintroductions programs, the captive population is keeping a balanced increase. The public awareness about saving Devils could be raised through the promotion overseas like people about panda. “The background of the reason why Devils becoming extinct may complicated, but Devils need the chance to survive.  Perhaps one day there will be Tasmanian devils in China!”

Useful websites for all the readers to know more about Tasmanian Devils


Student: Mo Chen (Flora)

SID: 440446969

Word account: 1024


The pitch of feature—Save Tasmanian Devil!


Tasmanian Devils have been described as the vacuum cleaners of forest, because their scavenging eating habit. The scientific name of Tasmanian Devil is Sarcophilus harrissi, a member of the family Dasyuridae. Tasmanian Devils are not popular among people as Koalas or Kangaroos. For foreigners, if they do not come to visit Australia they may not know about this kind of animals. As one of unique animals of Tasmanian State in Australia, Tasmanian Devils become the logo of many organisations in Tasmania State for gaining more popularity and public awareness. In addition, there is a cartoon character called Taz of Looney Tunes cartoon.


The situation of Tasmanian Devils, however, is heartbreaking. Because the eating habit of Devils, some Devils are killed by passing-car on the road. Moreover, the number of Tasmanian Devils is killed by the Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD). This kind of tumour is infectious among Devils, which resulting Devils cannot eat, be blind and die. The infection of DFTD might because of the immune and genetic system of Devils. The population of Devils is keeping reduce because these two main factors and other reasons.


** FILE ** A Oct. 3, 2007 file supplied photo of a Tasmanian devil stuffering a deadly facial tumour disease. Scientists believe they have made a major breakthrough in the fight to save Tasmanian devils from a deadly facial tumour disease that is decimating their numbers. (AAP Image/University of Sydney) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY

I have kept following the situation of Tasmanian Devils since the first semester of 2015. I am really interested in this kind of animal and needs someone to represent the current situation of the Devils that they are facing extinction. I have kept in touch with Doctor Catherine Grueber— one of postdoctoral fellow of San Diego Zoo to join in the group of the University of Sydney to the Saving Tasmanian Devils Program. I would like to interview her or other teammates of her if Catherine not available during this period. I would like to obtain professional and official information about the situation and population of Tasmanian Devils. San Diego Zoo of America, the Government of Tasmania have the program of saving Tasmanian Devils. Moreover, for engaging the research of Tasmanian Devils and DFTD, there is the scholarship and with a combination of public donations and corporate support for devil vaccine project for Tasmanian Devil.

In another aspect, compare with panda of China, Tasmanian Devils lack the public awareness both in the domestic area and international field. Even there are some projects and program trying to save and protect Devils, publics still do not pay more attention on the potential extinction of Tasmanian Devil. Many different cartoons have the adorable panda characters, for example the Kong Fu Panda. But for Tasmanian Devils, Taz seems scared for people to accept.


The ideal online publications for my feature, I would like the natural or environmental part of some influential websites. These popular websites may attract more attention. At present, most of people familiar with “fast food” culture, but the information about the current situation of Devils should not be ignored and covered instantly without any public awareness about the population of Tasmanian Devils declined.


Word account: 484


Student: Mo Chen

SID: 440446969




The address of my comment


A Commentary about the report of Brussels attacks on CNNireport

I chose the news reported on CNNireport about the serial bomb happened in Brussels on 22th of March.

CNNireport is a participatory website for citizen journalism reporting the truth and opinion about one news. For this news, CNNireport left a simple and clear headline to engage audiences. In addition, the leading and the news story is short and clear to introduce the basic fact to let reader know what, when and how that happened.屏幕快照 2016-04-02 下午4.09.35

Then, many different posts around world, about the tribute, show follow the story. Different people from different countries prayed for Brussels in different ways. Moreover, there are photographs shows the current situation in the airport of Brussels. The pictures are not taken by professional journalists but shocked and powerful.

The style of CNNireport makes the same news could have different delivery angle by citizen journalism with stronger emotion that could help audiences feel the news story not only as the “cold” fact. While, CNNireport seems like a social media platform for sharing information without authority.

This is all my own opinion about the news represented on CNNireport.

SID: 440446969

Name: Mo Chen (Flora)

Word account: 181

Information and Photo resources from:

Six Die in Cyclone “Victor”.

Six people died and over 100 people are homeless in Solomon Islands now because the Victor Cyclone with high speed passed directly yesterday.winston_2016-02-20_0130z_cropped

Honiara, the capital of Solomon Islands, has been the worst affected place of the deadly Cyclone Victor. Nadi Weather Centre founded this cyclone at 2 a.m. of yesterday and warned the government of Solomon Island. By 10 a.m., winds in Honiara were blowing at more than 140kph. About two hours latter, the centre of Victor passed over Honiara, then tracking into Coral Sea.

This deadly cyclone caused six people died, including four men and two women, eighteen people injured, twenty houses destroyed and more than 100 people are homeless.2015-03-15t095317z2010845298gm1eb3f1di901rtrmadp3weather-vanuatu-cyclone2

Mopping-up operations have started in Honiara.