Feeds

Fence plan to save Tasmanian Devil

Cancer corral considered

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Aussie nature-boffins have a new scheme to prevent the extinction of the Tasmanian Devil by the simple means of a great big fence.

The proposed barrier would aim to separate infected from healthy animals and stop the spread of the rampant face cancer which is destroying the species, reports the Beeb. The beleaguered beastie, which is the world's largest marsupial carnivore and a crucial part of Tasmania's ecosystem, faces possible extinction within 20 years.

Various strategies have been employed to combat the cancer, which spreads easily and progresses rapidly, aided by the lack of genetic diversity among the animals which are found only in Tasmania. There was some excitement last year when a captured Devil called Cedric was found to have a strong natural resistance to the cancer, which is directly passed from one animal to another, usually via bites to the head in fights. However, hopes were dashed when Cedric developed tumours, although researchers at the University of Tasmania say they have "learned a lot" from him.

A fence may help to stop the spread of the disease, although the idea is fraught with problems - wombats are likely to dig under it, for a start. “Producing a fence to fence out a disease is a difficult technical issue," Hamish McCallum, senior scientist in charge of the Devil Facial Tumor Disease program, told Earthweek.com. "It isn't just a matter of slinging up something like a rabbit-proof fence.”

Meanwhile, a captive breeding programme continues under the Save the Devil initiative, but funding is paltry. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.