Saving the Tasmanian Devil: How Science Is Helping the World's Largest Marsupial Carnivore Survive

By: Dorothy Hinshaw Patent

In the late 1990s, a fatal disease called Devil facial tumor disease began wiping out the Tasmanian devil population, killing nearly 90% of the devils over the past 20 years. Why was the entire population getting the same disease? Was it contagious? Then geneticist Jenny Graves made a discovery that was hard to believe, but true: the tumors were cloning and multiplying between animals. If researchers cannot get to the bottom of this mystery, this fascinating mammal will soon be gone. Dorothy Hinshaw Patent takes readers on an unforgettable tour of the Tasmania to meet the scientists working to save the devil before it's too late.

Glossary. Suggestions for further information. Sources. Index. Full-color photographs and illustrations.

ISBN: 9780544991484

JLG Release: Oct 2019


Sensitive Areas: None
Topics: Tasmanian devils , Diseases , Epidemics , Tasmania, Australia , Tumors , Genetic disorders , Wildlife conservation , Wildlife rescue , Science , Biology , Mammals , Endangered animals

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In 1996, a wildlife photographer working on the island of Tasmania first spotted several Tasmanian devils with large, cancerous tumors on their faces. Just eight years later, scientists projected that this fast-spreading disease, almost one-hundred percent fatal, was propelling the world’s devil population toward rapid extinc¬tion, prompting the In 1996, a wildlife photographer working on the island of Tasmania first spotted several Tasmanian devils with large, cancerous tumors on their faces. Just eight years later, scientists projected that this fast-spreading disease, almost one-hundred percent fatal, was propelling the world’s devil population toward rapid extinc¬tion, prompting the Australian and Tasmanian governments to initiate a breeding program and scientists to find a way to stop the disease. Veteran nonfiction author Patent (The Call of the Osprey, rev. 7/15; Made for Each Other) traveled to Tasma¬nia to chronicle the attempts to save the devils. She follows the research of a vari¬ety of scientists, including a geneticist, a cancer researcher, and a naturalist. After explaining the situation and outlining the causes of the disease (with particularly clear diagrams and photographs of chromosome abnormalities), Patent takes read-ers to several devil sanctuaries, nature preserves, and labs to observe the progress being made in both reintroduction programs and vaccines, carefully explaining their methodologies. With an overall narrative arc of discovering the eventual fate of the devils, she connects each site with information about the surrounding flora and fauna. Every visit concludes with a sidebar titled “What I Learned,” which encapsulates the main idea of that chapter. At press time, the outlook for the worldwide population of devils looks promising; readers of this concise study will know why. Appended with source notes, a glossary, and a list of further reading/ viewing resources.

Book Details

ISBN

9780544991484

First Release

October 2019

Genre

Nonfic

Dewey Classification

599.2

Trim Size

9" x 11"

Page Count

80

Accelerated Reader

Level 7.9; Points: 2;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 10.6; Points: 5;

Lexile

N/A

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Potentially Sensitive Areas

None

Topics

Tasmanian devils, Diseases, Epidemics, Tasmania, Australia, Tumors, Genetic disorders, Wildlife conservation, Wildlife rescue, Science, Biology, Mammals, Endangered animals,

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