Miranda’s Daily Blog: Day 131
Remember in mid-december at the start of The Observer Tree project, we captured footage of a devil we believed was carrying food to babies in its den? Well, guess what? Now we have captured footage of a juvenile devil! It looks like this baby devil is of the age that it would have been born early last year and would have been in the den until recently. So, it is highly likely that this little cub is Davina the Devil’s baby!
It is absolutely CUTE! Check out the footage:
At this age they would have left the den and be out exploring the world. Finding food for themselves, using their nose like a super-smelling-detector to find dead mammals, birds and insects. Dispersing young often are playful like puppies and play fight and wrestle – and are more nimble than their adult counterparts. However, this playfulness can lead them to misadventure such as getting hit by vehicles at dusk and dawn.
This time of year is breeding season for devils. This devil is too young for reproduction, but will be old enough by this time next year.At this time some mature female devils may have jelly bean sized young already – which will be permanently attached to the teat for about the next 5 months! Then mum has to find a safe den to house them in when she goes foraging for food.
Seeing this little baby devil on film, bouncing around exploring the world… I feel overcome with a sense of happiness. This little one was very lucky and might not have survived. Logging began in this coupe on December 13th 2011. The day after we captured the footage of the mama devil. At the time I felt so worried about the possibilities that somewhere in this coupe was a den full of baby devils and if we couldn’t stop the logging continuing then those babies might be crushed and trapped under falling logs and machinery. Thankfully, after a week of logging the machines left and haven’t returned yet. I don’t know for sure, but I have a feeling that the reason they haven’t continued with their plan to log this coupe is to avoid the public exposure that would result from logging while I watch from The Observer Tree. If I wasn’t here, would this whole coupe have been clearfelled by now? Would this baby devil have survived?
I feel even more determined to stay up here until this forest is protected. I hope that this devil will spend its life oblivious to the logging industry… I hope that this area will be protected into the future. I hope that next year this little devil will be safe and maybe having babies of its own. I hope that generations of devils will live and survive in this forest.
I hope you feel the same sense of happiness as me when you watch the footage of this little devil. My fellow Still Wild Still Threatened members will continue to monitor this area with remote-sensor cameras. So chances are we might see this young one again! In that case, perhaps we should give him/ her a name? Any suggestions?
Ha, I feel like a proud mum….. And a protective mum too. Because certainly this little one is going to need us to protect it. It’s time to let the government and Ta Ann know that this logging madness has to end. We cannot stand by and let them destroy this baby devils home!
Check out (and share) this short film I made explaining the significance of this footage and the reasons why it is now critical to protect these forests:
Environment groups in Tasmania have created a Fact Sheet, detailing the findings of the Jonathon West report about Tasmanian devils. You can download it here: Tas Devil Fact Sheet.