Devil Ark History

Devil Ark was created by the Director of Australian Reptile Park (ARP), John Weigel AM, based on his vision and passion to save the Tasmanian devil. It was developed in partnership with ARP, the Zoo Aquarium Association (ZAA) and the Foundation for Australia’s Most Endangered Species (FAME).

Devil Ark is set on 500 hectares and located at an altitude of 1,350 metres in the heritage-listed Barrington Tops. Large fenced areas in FRE’s to express natural behaviours, reproduce naturally genetically diverse that is cost-effective

Devil Ark Incorporated was created in 2011 and the Devil Ark Conservation Fund was given Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status in 2012. Devil Ark project was launched on 18th January 2011 with the arrival of 44 founder devils. Since then we have built a state of the art facility including

Chronological Timeframe


Year Event
1996 Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) first discovered in a female devil in Tasmania.
2003 Meetings between the regional zoo bodies to discuss how to save the Tasmanian devil from extinction through the development of a captive insurance population to save the species
2006 The first healthy, wild Tasmanian devils arrived to the mainland’s identified breeding facilities, including Devil Ark, from Tasmania to act as ‘founder’ devils to be part of the new captive breeding program. Devil Ark’s devils were first accommodated at The Australian Reptile Park.
2009 It became apparent that zoos were quickly running out of space towards this captive-breeding program, with 25% of the devils accommodated at The Australian Reptile Park. The breeding of devils is very expensive within zoos, and a new model was required that would address the following criteria;

·      Catered for genetic diversity

·      Cost-effective

·      Resulted in reproductive output

·      Devils continued to retain wild-type behaviours

After careful consideration, Devil Ark was conceptualised with the commencent of its initial planning and search for land to replicate Tasmania’s natural environment.

2010 In June 2010, building Devil Ark commenced.
2011 Devil Ark was completed and launched in January 2011 with the

first devils arriving at Devil Ark. The first successful breeding season took place not long after in February 2011.

2015 Devil Ark has had 5 successful breeding seasons with over 150 healthy, genetically-diverse joeys born. As of October 2015, we have over 150 Tasmanian devils in our care.




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