Qantas backs Tasmanian Devil cause

Qantas has announced a $60,000 two-year sponsorship to support the Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumour Disease Program (DFTD). Qantas Group General Manager Sales and Distribution Rob Gurney said the airline would provide sculpted donation receptacles, in the form of Tasmanian Devils, across Tasmania as well fund a scholarship, the Qantas Tasmanian Devil Research Scholarship, at the University of Tasmania. “The donation receptacles will be positioned in airport terminals and Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife visitor centres.  We hope they will capture the attention of locals and visitors to provide much-needed research funds,” he said. “Research is vital to fighting the diseases, which is why we are backing our commitment to the program with a scholarship.” Dean of the UTAS Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology and Chair of the Tasmanian Wildlife Research Advisory Committee, Professor Jim Reid, said UTAS and the Tasmanian Wildlife Research Advisory Committee were grateful Qantas was taking the initiative and making scholarship funds available. “We look forward to a positive outcome for the Tasmanian Devil. Solutions to key wildlife issues are only possible if personnel in a strong research environment undertake firstclass research. “The support of Qantas will assist high quality students to work in conjunction with top researchers and undertake key aspects of research to better understand and overcome aspects of the Devil Facial Tumour Disease,” Professor Reid said. In the mid-1990s a disease was discovered in the world’s largest surviving carnivorous marsupial, the Tasmanian Devil. Since then many thousands have died. In response, a Tasmanian Devil research team has been established to find out more about the disease and how best to save the devil from an uncertain future.