Feeds

Tasmanian tumours blamed on inbreeding

Devils face visit from the Darwinator

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
What's that STINK? Rosetta probe shoves nose under comet's tail
Rotten eggs, horse dung and almonds – yuck
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.