Image Courtesy of Melanie Wagner

Devil Ark

Better The Devil You Know

  • YEAR: 2011
  • STATE: National
  • FOCUS AREAS: Saving Species/SDG 15: Life on Land

Captive breeding programs are saving the Tasmanian Devils from the brink of extinction. As one of the largest living carnivorous marsupials in the world, the endemic Australian animal once roamed throughout mainland Australia. It is now confined only to Tasmanian bushland and breeding centres in the mainland. Despite all efforts to preserve the species, it is estimated that there are less than 10% of Tasmanian Devils currently left in the wild.

FNPW support

This project was funded through generous donations from FNPW supporters across Australia and beyond.

Project overview

The endangered species is an asset to Australia and is a close living relative of the now extinct species, the Tasmanian Tiger. With the discovery of Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) in 1996, numerous organisations have been working to protect, breed and try to find a vaccine for the disease. One of these projects is Devil Ark, a Tasmanian Devil captive breeding program in NSW’s Barrington Tops. FNPW is working with Devil Ark to ensure the survival of the Tasmanian devil through an innovative breeding program.

“Devil Ark is creating an insurance population of Tasmanian Devils and has been running since 2011. As a cure for DFTD has yet to be found, this is our only other option. This is vital for the survival of this species,” says CEO of FNPW, Ian Darbyshire.

“Australia has amazing wildlife that cannot be seen anywhere else in the world, one of which is the Tasmanian Devil. These projects, whether they focus on the Tasmanian Devil, Koalas or the Murray River Turtle, all need much more help in order to save the species. Conservation is important, but it is also costly so that’s why FNPW needs to find funding. These programs work but they need help to keep them going”.

Photo Credit: Burrard Lucas


FNPW supports projects across Australia. In the spirit of reconciliation the we acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Country and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture.


The project is ongoing.

This project was funded by FNPW in 2011.

Photo Credit: Melanie Wagner


Aussie Ark is the lead organisation for this project.

Further information about our project partner can be found on their website:


Related Projects

Tassie Devil Roadkill

Game-changing new roadkill prevention technology is being trialled, particularly to prevent the deaths of Tasmanian Devils. Tassie Devils are endangered, their numbers plummeting from the horrific Devil Facial Tumour Disease.

Aussie Ark Quolls

The Eastern quoll project has been highly successful, starting with 20 individuals in early 2018, with an aim of reaching 70 individuals and doubling our holding enclosures at Aussie Ark.

Backyard Buddies

Backyard Buddies is a free education initiative run by the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife. It gives you simple tips to transform your backyard into a safe and inviting habitat haven. You can explore, create and help your own backyard buddies, to help them survive and to thrive into the future.

1 Million Turtles

Over the last 40 years, the most common and widespread species of Murray River turtles have declined by up to 91%. The 1 Million Turtles Project will create the blueprint for “headstarting” as an inexpensive landscape-scale approach to conservation.