The Tasmanian devil is the icon of Australia’s most southern state, Tasmania. Whether it’s due to their appearance like small dogs or through Disney’s beloved and crazy character Taz, kids seem to love Tassie devils. Now more than ever, we need to nurture this love if we are to preserve this amazing creature for future generations to enjoy.
Today, seeing a Tasmanian devil is a delight and a privilege, so we have put together a list of all the cool places to see Tasmanian devils in Brisbane, as well as some fun facts about these curious creatures.
Fun Tasmanian devil facts
- Tasmanian devils are the world’s largest carnivorous marsupial.
- Devils can eat up to 10% of their body weight in a day.
- Despite looking like a fierce predator, Tassie devils are mainly scavengers, feeding on whatever meat they can find.
- Tassie devils are nocturnal and usually hide in dens during the day.
- Tasmanian devils can roam up to 16km in search of food.
- Young Tasmanian devils can climb trees.
- Baby Tasmanian devils are called joeys or imps and live in their mother’s pouch for roughly three months.
- Unlike kangaroos, Tassie devils’ pouches open at the bottom, to keep dirt out as they walk.
- Tassie devils do strange ‘yawns’ that look quite fierce but usually mean they are stressed or scared.
- Tassie devils make lots of strange sounds, including coughs, growls, snorts, sniffs, screeches and even sneezes, usually to scare off other animals to avoid fights.
- Tassie devils are shy and timid and are not dangerous to people unless attacked or trapped.
- The closest relative of the Tasmanian devil is the quoll.
What does a Tasmanian devil look like?
The Tasmanian devil is a stocky creature, about the size of a small dog. Like most animals the size of a devil varies (between 55cm – 65cm from head to tail) with the males often being slightly larger than the females. They can weigh anywhere between 5 – 15kg, and have short, powerful legs and a long tail.
A devil’s coat (fur) is mainly dark brown/black with a white marking on its chest, and sometimes on its sides and bottom. If you are lucky enough to see a devil close-up, you will notice they have a compact face, with a short muzzle, long whiskers, and strong, sharp teeth. Don’t get too close though!
Tasmanian devil habitat
Every species of animal requires a certain habitat to thrive and survive. For the Tassie devil, this means they can be found in most areas of Tasmania, from the coast all the way to the mountains. They often search for places to live where they can hide safely during the day (in burrows, hollow logs, caves and under rocks) and find food during the night. For this reason, their preferred habitat is coastal heath and scrublands and open, dry forests. They can also be found in mixed sclerophyll rainforests in Tasmania.
Tasmanian devil diet
Tasmania devils are hungry little scavengers and like to feed on carcasses (dead animals) even eating the bones and fur! Generally, they like to hide during the day and head out to feed at night. Eating up to 10% of their body weight a day, they also like to feed on a variety of other things including reptiles, birds and insects, using their keen sense of smell to find their food in the dark.
Why are Tasmanian devils endangered?
Once widespread across Australia, Tasmanian devils became extinct on the mainland around 430 years ago, most likely due to competition with dingoes and people. Now they are only found in Tasmania.
Historically, devils were considered a nuisance in Tasmania due to their supposed threat to livestock. Culling saw numbers decline dramatically, until they became protected by law in 1941. The population then increased, but in 1996 it was discovered they were again under threat, this time from Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD).
DFTD has taken a devastating toll on the Tasmanian devil population, which is now listed as Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.
Where can you see a Tasmanian Devil?
As the name suggests, Tasmanian devils can be found in Tasmania, which is a southern state of Australia. Unfortunately, they can no longer be found in the wild on mainland Australia, however there are many zoos, sanctuaries and animal parks throughout Australia where they can be found.
Where to see Tasmanian Devils Around Brisbane
Although you won’t see a Tasmania devil in the wild in Queensland, you can certainly catch a glimpse of one at any of these amazing places near Brisbane.
Australia Zoo in Beerwah
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on the Gold Coast
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Fig Tree Pocket
Wildlife HQ at the Big Pineapple near the Sunshine Coast