Tasmanian devils could be moved to WA's South West as part of increasingly desperate efforts to save the species, according to one of the island State's wildlife experts.

As numbers of the marsupial predators continue to plummet because of a type of facial cancer, the University of Tasmania's Menna Jones said the South West could be a haven to develop insurance populations of the animal.

Dr Jones said time was rapidly running out for the devil and authorities need to start having a "conversation" about radical contingencies. She said Australia's south-west corner offered possible salvation for the species because the climate and vegetation were similar to those of its native homeland.

"Devils used to live right across Australia, except perhaps in the desert areas," Dr Jones said.

However, a Department of Environment and Conservation spokeswoman ruled out the translocation of Tasmanian devils into the WA wild.

She said the devil had not existed in WA previously and it would therefore be an introduced species.

The West Australian

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