Generosity to Save the Tasmanian Devil Wed 12 September 2012 Brian Wightman Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage The Environment, Parks and Heritage Minister, Brian Wightman, today welcomed a major new fundraising achievement to help save the Tasmanian Devil. Tasmanian chef, Fiona Hoskins, has chosen to donate the proceeds from her recipe book to the volunteer group, Devil Island Project (DIP), of which she's a member. Today, the Chief Executive of the Devil Island Project, Bruce Englefield, was presented with a cheque from the food processor manufacturer Thermomix (which collaborated with Ms Hoskins on the book). Mr Wightman said the DIP - which runs devil quarantine and isolation programs - is playing an important role in combatting the spread of Devil Facial Tumour Disease. "We know the clock's ticking as we battle to save this unique and much-loved species," Mr Wightman said. "That battle is scientific, financial and cultural, with many different ways to contribute. "The Devil Island Project is at the front line, alongside the Tasmanian Devil Program and the State and Federal Governments. "Together, we've made real progress in understanding facial tumour disease, and starting to manage its spread," he said. The Devil Island Program has built four free-range Tasmanian devil enclosures so far, costing more than $1-million. It's had support and co-operation from DPIPWE and the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program. "The free-range enclosures are a crucial, because they help quarantine and protect healthy devils from contact with diseased devils," Mr Wightman said. "With the support of groups like the Devil Island Project, we now have more than 500 Tasmanian devils in a secure insurance population. That population is achieving a genetic retention rate of more than 99 per cent. "Our knowledge of Devil Facial Tumour Disease is gradually improving, with scientists here and elsewhere attracting widespread acclaim for their efforts. "I want to recognise the efforts of people like Bruce Englefield, my Parliamentary colleague, Kerry Finch, Fiona Hoskins and the other members of the DIP Board. "The most effective conservation efforts involve private industry, community groups, and all levels of Government working co-operatively together," he said. There are now 20 institutions participating in the insurance population initiatives. To further enhance it, the Tasmanian Government is planning to translocate devils to Maria Island, and considering other proposals involving suitable coastal peninsulas.