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Insurance population success

Research led by the University of Sydney's Wildlife Genomics Group has found positive signs in devil insurance populations.

One of the world's largest wildlife genetic studies identified Tassie devils in around 37 zoos and on Maria Island are as genetically diverse as the wild population.

It means the insurance animals are suitable for reintroduction into the wild to help rebuild the species endangered by facial tumour disease.

The study's co-author concludes that insurance breeding strategies are getting it right, which includes assimilating orphan devils who have been exposed to the disease in the wild so that any genetic changes are captured.

It also provides a template for breeding strategies for other endangered species.

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