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TAS Country : January 3rd 2013
Friday, January 4, 2013 Tasmanian Country 3 News FOCUSED: Samantha Cables has graduated with an honours degree in agricultural science Ploughing ahead in agriculture ROGER HANSON UNIVERSITY honours graduate Samantha Cables is keen to dig in to an agricultural career. Ms Cables, who grew up on a poppy and beef cattle property near Sheffield, won the Bert Campbell scholarship and has just graduated from the University of Tasmania with an honours degree in agricultural science. She is now planning a career that will focus on the vegetable industry. To Page 5 Devils step up in fight to survive MORE than a decade after discovering the existence of the facial tumour disease that has devastated Tasmanian devils, scientists are now confident the marsupial is unlikely to become extinct. But more work is yet to be done to find a cure. This week the Tasmanian Country and the Mercury launched 2013: The year of the Tasmanian devil --- a campaign to keep readers abreast of latest developments. BRUCE MOUNSTER reports. THERE are early signs that the deadly facial tumour disease that has wiped out vast numbers of the Tasmanian devil may be becoming less virulent. A handful of two and three-year-old devils, which would normally have died, have been found alive and well in eastern Tasmania. And populations in areas where the disease first appeared in 1999-2002 have unexpectedly stabilised. University of Tasmania zoologist Menna Jones said the devil researchers' next big question was if, or how soon, wild devil populations could bounce back. Dr Jones said there already were signs the absence of devils had made parts of Tasmania more friendly to feral cats, and, potentially, to foxes. The nightmare scenario could be a race between foxes, as they kill off Tas- mania's small marsupials, and devils, as they take on the role of white knights. The Save the Tasmanian Devil Program so far has been an outstand- ing success. The program has been powerless to stop the devil facial tumour disease's deadly westward march as far as Zeehan and Mawbanna. But after eight years of desperation, co-operation and ingenuity, the al- liance involving State Government To Page 5
December 20th 2012
January 10th 2013