Feeds

Tasmanian tumours blamed on inbreeding

Devils face visit from the Darwinator

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

The devil is the largest surviving marsupial predator on the island and has hitherto kept the populations of other predators in check. Its decline has allowed the non-native red fox - a serious pest - to gain a foothold in only six years, and the feral cat's chances of establishing itself are also increasing (although enterprising and unsqueamish souls have found a possible culinary solution to that one). Matters haven't been helped by the fact that the 10-year-old problem was not taken seriously until 2003, when state government funds were finally allocated for research.

Researcher Dr Katharine Belov of Sydney University also fears for the future of the koala and the platypus, as both distinctively Aussie beasts are splashing in similarly shallow gene pools.

"Loss of genetic diversity in these genes just opens the door for emergence and rapid spread of new and old disease," she explains.

The fragilities of Australia's unique biodiversity have long been apparent - 20 native species have become extinct in the last 200 years, including the former largest carnivorous Tasmanian marsupial, the thylacine.

Devil expert Hamish McCallum of the University of Tasmania called the research findings "significant, but depressing... it suggests it will be very difficult for the animals to evolve resistance to [DFTD], unless we find individuals with more diversity, which is unlikely".

At least Warner Bros, without whose character the Tasmanian devil would be as obscure as the spotted-tailed quoll, has finally come around to the idea of supporting the cause after years of dispute with the Tasmanian government.

The animation giant agreed last year to help the stricken beasts off whose fluffy backs it's made millions of dollars by ponying up the proceeds from a special edition stuffed Taz toy. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
NASA to reformat Opportunity rover's memory from 125 million miles away
Interplanetary admins will back up data and get to work
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
Volcanic eruption in Iceland triggers CODE RED aviation warning
Lava-spitting Bárðarbunga prompts action from Met Office
LOHAN Kickstarter push breaks TWELVE THOUSAND POUNDS
That's right, folks, you've stumped up OVER 9,000 beer tokens - and counting
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.