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The Tasmanian devil is the less-than-cuddly carnivorous marsupial with an international reputation thanks to Looney Tunes.

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The Tasmanian devil is important to the Australian Island as a tourism attraction because people come from all over the world to see it.

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In 1941, the devils became officially protected by the government of Australia.

Unfortunately that protection isn’t protecting their health. Since the late 1990s, devil facial tumour disease has dramatically reduced the devil’s numbers and now threaten the survival of the species.

In 2008, the devils were declared an endangered species. The Australian government started to send Tasmanian devils to zoos around the world as part of its efforts to save the species.

For the past 12 years, Carolyn Hogg has been working with the Save the Tasmanian devil Program utilizing genomics as a vital tool to save this endangered marsupial.

Hogg is a conservation biologist who has been working with threatened species for over 25 years. She is the science lead for the national threatened species Initiative, a program involving genomic resources for Australia’s threatened species, as well as co-lead of the Australasian wildlife genomics group at the University of Sydney.

Hogg joined a Conversation That Matters about the role genomics is playing in an all-out effort to save the Tasmanian devil.

Join us Oct. 25 for Conversations Live — Crime — Do you Feel Safe? A Vancouver Sun co-production. Go to conversationslive.ca

Conversations That Matter: Can genomics save the ‘devil’

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