This is the Tasmanian Devil or Sarcophilu harrisii. They are found on the island of Tasmania, however they used to roam all of Australia. They were hunted on Tasmania up until they became protected in the 1940's. They were seen as a threat to the livestock, despite the fact that they are mainly carrion eaters, and rarely hunt. They are the largest carnivorous marsupial since the extinction of the "Tasmanian wolf" or Thylacine in the late 1930's.
The current populations of Tasmanian devils has been upgraded from vulnerable to endangered just this year. The decline in devil numbers has been drastic, with a estimated drop in numbers from 150,000 to 50,000-20,000 individuals in just ten years. The cause is a particularly virulent cancer which causes facial tumors on the devils. Once contracted, they die within a year to a year and a half.
The cancer can be spread from one devil to the next by contact (mainly bites). As matings frequently involve biting, and feeding is highly social (devils will call others to a meal) the disease has spread very easily and rapidly. Researchers have been working hard to figure out this issue, and they have found that because the devil's numbers were so reduced, that their immune system is not very genetically diverse (esp. MHC genes). Because of this cancerous cells from an infected individual are not rejected by a healthy individual because they are not considered foreign cells by the healthy individual's immune system [1, 2].
In an interesting response to this decreased life expectancy, the devil population is undergoing a shift in sexual maturity. Devils used to reach sexual maturity at two years of age. Now a high proportion of the population is sexually maturing at one year of age. This shift gives them a better chance to mate and produce offspring before they die .