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Tasmanian devil, the largest carnivorous marsupial native to Australia. Photo: Arterra/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

A lifesaving operation to save endangered Tasmanian devils by transferring them to Australia's Maria Island inadvertently led to the devastation of the local penguin population, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: The decision to move 28 Tasmanian devils to the island has had a “catastrophic ecological impact on the bird fauna" there, Eric Woehler, the convenor of BirdLife Tasmania, told the Guardian.

The big picture: The marsupials were moved to the island off the east coast of Tasmania between 2012 and 2013 in order to safeguard them from facial tumor disease, a "transmissible cancer spread through biting that causes the appearance of tumors on the face or inside the mouth," per WashPost.

  • By 2016 their population had grown to 100, and they had begun to eat the little penguins.

The bottom line: A decade ago, Maria Island was home 3,000 breeding pairs of little penguins. Now, they have entirely disappeared from the island.

Little penguin. Photo: Auscape/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Go deeper

Tropical Storm Henri set to strike Northeast with storm surge, inland flooding

Tropical Storm Henri as seen from satellite imagery on Sunday. Photo: CIRA/RAMMB

Tropical Storm Henri was barreling toward the Northeast coastline Sunday morning, on track to make landfall in Long Island or southern New England later in the day.

The latest: The storm is packing maximum sustained winds near 70 mph with higher gusts, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in its 8 a.m. ET advisory. "Some slight weakening will be possible this morning, but Henri is still forecast to be a strong tropical storm when it reaches the coasts of southern New England and Long island," it added.

6 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats brace for staredown over paid family medical leave

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Senior House Democrats are braced for battle with the Senate over whether paid family medical leave — a key priority for progressives — will be included in President Biden’s final budget reconciliation bill, lawmakers and aides tell Axios.

Why it matters: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has indicated he wants to cut the program to reduce the bill's price tag. “Paid family and medical leave must be in the final package,” Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, told Axios on Monday.

39 mins ago - World

Poland showdown is EU's Jan. 6 moment, top official says

Didier Reynders. Photo: Thierry Monasse/Getty Images

Poland and Hungary have forced a moment of reflection on the European Union — similar to the one in the U.S. after the Jan. 6 insurrection, EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders told Axios.

What he's saying: "During many years, we have had in our minds that it was granted that if you are a member of the EU, of course you apply the rule of law; you have full respect for democracy, fundamental rights and so on — maybe with some concerns but with a real intention to adapt your legislation to be in full compliance [with EU law]," Reynders said.

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