Doubling the Ark-providing a life raft

The iconic Tasmanian devil is critical to the wilderness of Tasmania, plays an important role in the ecosystem as the top order predator, and protecting many smaller mammal species from the invasion and threat of foxes and cats. They help keep the balance right! A range of species including brush tailed bettongs, eastern quolls, spotted tail quolls, eastern barred bandicoot rely on the devil to perform its ecological function. With over 90% of the species already gone, and the disease having traversed almost the entire state, Devil Ark is committed to securing and building a healthy and robust population free from Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) to repopulate Tasmania once the disease has run its course.

Devil Ark is not just central to the current insurance population but is also the last resort against unforeseen calamity in Tasmania. The meta-population review of 2012 noted that should the mainland population become closed (unable to accept new founders from Tasmania because they represented too great a risk due to its disease free status), it would have to rapidly expand to bring the Category 1 population to an effective size of 500 (Ne=500). There is no question that Devil Ark is the only facility capable of such a response.

While Tasmanian devils are persisting in some areas of DFTD, numbers have not recovered, there is no vaccine, and no cure, and local populations are still vulnerable to extinction. Devil Ark is focussed on its commitment as outlined in the 2012 Meta population Strategy, and plans to grow the facility to hold 360 Tasmanian devils to ensure the survival of an Australian icon and key species to the ecosystem. The following page outlines a brief of how Devil Ark plans to expand, funds required to achieve this, and a fundraising campaign to enable its success.

Why double the ark?

  • It’s almost 20 years to the day since the disease was discovered
  • Things have not got any better for the devil. In fact worse!
  • There is no proven cure and no proved vaccine
  • 80-90% of devils have disappeared
  • The state is all but infected with a few very small pockets remaining
  • Devil Ark is keeping its mandate/promise to the devil and increasing to 360 devils
  • Devil Ark is proven, cost effective, can harvest for wild release and provides the only ‘silver bullet’ solution to prevent extinction
  • Devil Ark costs $2200 per devil compared to the industry average of 10k. This means conservation band-for-buck
  • Our American partners Global Wildlife have committed $250,000 to kick start the expansion
  • This is a national responsibility and we need Australian’s to help!

Help Us Save the Devil

  • We need your help to raise $1.5 million to provide a lift raft and double the ark
  • Devil Ark needs 1.5 million to increase to 360 devils
  • This money goes directly to building new homes for devils
  • Once funding is secure, construction will commence March 2017
  • Without public support we cannot secure this species
  • For detailed proposal plans click “Read more” button below
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Doubling the ark- donating options

Fencing for the future

Your support in our goal to double the Ark is so appreciated! Your pledge of $150 will provide 1 metre of fencing!

Please Fence Me A Home

Your support is crucial in helping Devil Ark to succeed in the future! Your pledge of $6,900 will provide 1 home for a devil for 10 years.

Buy a Breeding Enclosure

Doubling the Ark
Your support in our goal to double the Ark is so appreciated! Your pledge of $75,000 will provide homes for 8 devils and in 10 years produce over 100 joeys!

Choose your own amount

 Your support is crucial in helping Devil Ark to succeed in the future! Your generous contribution will help us to double the size of Devil Ark and continue to fight extinction for the endangered Tasmanian devil.

DEVIL ARK POSITION STATEMENT

Background

The iconic Tasmanian devil is critical to the wilderness of Tasmania, plays an important role in the ecosystem as the top order predator, and protecting many smaller mammal species from the invasion and threat of foxes and cats. They help keep the balance right! A range of species including brush tailed bettongs, eastern quolls, spotted tail quolls, eastern barred bandicoot rely on the devil to perform its ecological function. With over 90% of the species already gone, and the disease having traversed almost the entire state, Devil Ark is committed to securing and building a healthy and robust population free from Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) to repopulate Tasmania once the disease has run its course.

Devil Ark is a registered environmental organisation and charitable institution under the Australian Charity’s and Not-for profits Commission. Devil Ark has gift recipient status, and is registered for GST purposes. Thus far we have raised the necessary yet challenging $330,000 per year.

Proven Success

The scale and success of the Devil Ark operation is unrivalled. Since Devil Ark’s inception with just 44 founder animals, Devil remains the most successful facility, outperforming other management systems to date, with a 63% success rate of females producing young, and over 200 joeys born to date.

The mainland insurance population as of November 2015 held 298 animals of which 154 were being held within the Devil Ark facility. In the 2015 breeding season alone Devil Ark contributed 36 joeys of the total 89 born in the total insurance meta-population equalling a staggering 40% of reproductive results.

Conservation ‘Bang for Buck’

Devil Ark is by far the most economically efficient participant in the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program (STDP). Its ‘Hands-off’ approach produces devils of the highest re-introduction potential yet it achieves this at an annual operational cost of $2,200 per devil. This compares to an industry average of $10,000 per devil.

This means that over half of the quarantine secure Category 1 population held on the Australian mainland is managed at an annual operating cost of $330,000.

Commitment for the Future

Devil Ark is not just central to the current insurance population but is also the last resort against unforeseen calamity in Tasmania. The meta-population review of 2012 noted that should the mainland population become closed (unable to accept new founders from Tasmania because they represented too great a risk due to its disease free status), it would have to rapidly expand to bring the Category 1 population to an effective size of 500 (Ne=500). There is no question that Devil Ark is the only facility capable of such a response.

While Tasmanian devils are persisting in some areas of DFTD, numbers have not recovered, there is no vaccine, and no cure, and local populations are still vulnerable to extinction. Devil Ark is focussed on its commitment as outlined in the 2012 Meta population Strategy, and plans to grow the facility to hold 360 Tasmanian devils to ensure the survival of an Australian icon and key species to the ecosystem. The following pages outline a brief of how Devil Ark plans to expand, funds required to achieve this, and a fundraising campaign to enable its success.

DEVIL ARK EXPANSION

Considering the successful operation of the current model, planned expansion of the facility includes increasing infrastructure to hold an additional 210 devil spaces to reach the 360 devil spaces as recommended in the Insurance Meta-population strategy. Economies of scale are reached in some areas to achieve a 60% operational saving in utilising the Devil Ark modular design; estimated costs show only a 40% increase in expenses (equals an additional $225,500 per annum) to successfully manage a 58% increase in devil spaces (an additional 210 devil spaces).

The expansion to hold 360 devils requires a capital construction phase of fencing infrastructure. The construction phase to double Devil Ark to hold 360 Tasmanian devils requires the building of the following in addition to the above current facilities:

  • 10 x 3Ha reproductive enclosures,
  • 5 x 1Ha pre-reproductive enclosures,
  • 5 x 1Ha post-reproductive enclosures,
  • 3 single sex holding enclosures,
  • 10 x Intensive holding enclosures

Construction is able as detailed in the attached diagrams to be completed as a four tiered developed which is entirely dependent on funding acquisition to meet the estimated budget. While the capital construction is able to be completed in stages, there are economies found if construction is completed in the same phase.

The attachment shows how fencing will be constructed, and configurations to meet the above holding requirements equalling a total of 9.75Km of fencing. At a cost of $150 per metre, this capital construction phase will total $1,462,500.

FENCING – CAPITAL CONSTRUCTION

Containment at the Ark is critical to ensure that devils are secure, and also that other species aren’t able to enter the enclosures. The existing fencing at devil ark has been proven in these areas, and includes a 1500mm high cyclone mesh fence, with an additional 600mm beneath the ground level. The fence has a 400mm wide fence strip at the top to prevent climbing, and a secondary fence is also in place, similar with the addition of a mesh apron to prevent digging from both sides.

The existing fence has a total approximate cost of $150 with the following inclusions:

Category Cost per metre ($)
Fence material 21
Tin 6.50
Posts @ 3 posts per metre 30
Ancillary Costs – Clips, strainers, etc 10
Fencing labour – clipping, backfilling 47.73
Machinery labour & hire 34.77
TOTAL $150

EXPANSION ESTIMATED TOTAL BUDGET

Devil Ark is well established, and has sufficient infrastructure to for many aspects of the expansion including vet treatment rooms, indoor holding and care facilities, food storage and preparation facilities, staff living quarters, 2 vehicles, and 1 gator vehicle. Additional equipment will also be required with a growing devil population. Details on new equipment as well as the capital development budget estimates are shown below:

Capital Development
Food Storage Facilities – Cool room & Freezer @ $30,000 each unit $60,000
Additional Vehicles – 1 x Toyota Hilux Ute

1 x Gator

$40,000

$15,000

Devil monitoring equipment – camera and trapping devices $20,000
Pumps and Water Management system for new enclosures $10,000
Solar unit and generator $10,000
Capital infrastructure of fencing including machine hire and labour $1,462,500
Total $1,617,500

CONSTRUCTION PLANS

Diagram 1: Doubling the Ark – Construction plans

Diagram 2: Fence details

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