New South Wales has hosted the first born-in-the-wild Tasmanian devils on the Australian mainland in 3,000 years.
Aussie Ark and Re:wild helped bring 26 of the adult critters to the mainland last year and they quickly settled into their new home, which is a 400-acre wildlife sanctuary on Barrington Tops, north of Sydney.
It was the first time they had been on the continent in three millennia and now we've received even more joy.
It appears conditions have been just right and the animals have been able to produce seven Tasmanian devil joeys.
Aussie Ark president Tim Faulkner is absolutely stoked at the arrival of the babies.
"We have been working tirelessly for the better part of 10 years to return devils to the wild of mainland Australia with the hope that they would establish a sustainable population," he said.
"Once they were back in the wild, it was up to them, which was nerve wracking. We had been watching them from afar until it was time to step in and confirm the birth of our first wild joeys. And what a moment it was!"
Rangers waded into the sanctuary to inspect the female's pouched and, sure enough, there were tiny babies.
The joeys are described as being in 'perfect health' and there will be several more checks done in the coming weeks.
These joeys will help ensure the survival of the endangered species. The Tasmanian devil has been under threat from dingoes and a horrible cancer that wiped out up to 90 per cent of all devils in the wild.
It's believed fewer than 25,000 Tassie devils are still alive in the wild, which is down from 150,000 before the Devil Facial Tumour Disease hit in the mid-1990s.
But, conservation efforts like the one at Barrington Tops has brought them just a touch back from the brink.
Re:wild and Aussie Ark are hoping to bring over more Tassie devils to the mainland over the next two years and release them into the wild.
Don Church, president of Re:wild, said the joeys are a 'tangible sign' the reintroduction project on the mainland is working.
"This doesn't just bode well for this endangered species, but also for the many other endangered species that can be saved if we rewild Australia, the country with the world's worst mammal extinction rate," he said.
They are also keen to get as many as seven species into the North Sydney sanctuary, including the eastern quoll, brush-tail rock wallabies, rufous bettong, long-nosed potoroo, parma wallabies, and the southern brown bandicoots.
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