Tasmanian Devils Named Endangered Species

The Tasmanian devil, a feisty marsupial that lives only in the Australian island state of Tasmania, was deemed an endangered species this week by the state’s government.

The government had previously classified the creature as vulnerable. But its more critical status comes in response to a fatal epidemic of devil facial tumor disease, which has wiped out large numbers of the animal.

Devil numbers are difficult to estimate, but state government figures suggest the animals may have plummeted from around 150,000 in the mid-1990s to between 20,000 and 50,000 by the end of 2006.

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