Tourism operators get teeth into saving devil

Save the Tasmanian Devil Program Appeal manager Rebecca Cuthill demonstrates Virtual Fencing ... the Wildlife Safety Solutions device is activated by headlights, which causes it to emit light and sounds that repel animals from crossing the road. Picture: MARK JESSER

Save the Tasmanian Devil Program Appeal manager Rebecca Cuthill demonstrates Virtual Fencing ... the Wildlife Safety Solutions device is activated by headlights, which causes it to emit light and sounds that repel animals from crossing the road. Picture: MARK JESSER

THE generosity of the state’s tourism operators could spell the difference between life and death for Tasmanian devils.

An auction to be held next week by the Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania will aim to raise $10,000 for the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program Appeal.

Appeal manager Rebecca Cuthill explained the funds would be used for a second trial of Virtual Fencing. Produced by Wildlife Safety Solutions, the Virtual Fencing device is activated by approaching headlights, which causes it to emit light and sounds that repel animals from crossing the road.

A trial held in the North-West earlier this year found an 80 per cent success rate.

Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania chief executive Luke Martin said the devil was an important Tasmanian icon and said he was hopeful next week’s conference would see enough funds raised.

‘‘We held an auction last year which raised about $10,000,’’ Mr Martin said.

Ms Cuthill said the foundation was thankful for the support of the tourism body, which is an official charity partner of the organisation.

‘‘The initial results [from the Virtual Fencing trial] are only just coming in and they’ve been quite positive, it’s quite exciting actually,’’ she said.

‘‘This test will see if it works on Tasmania’s windy and undulating roads.’’

For more information about the appeal or to donate, visit tassiedevil.com.au

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