Once occurring across the Australian mainland, devils disappeared after the arrival of the dingo. They are now restricted to Tasmania. Devils reach highest abundances in the dry eucalypt forests and woodlands in northern Tasmania but are found all over the island state. Although populations have fluctuated this century, their status seems to be secure.

Densities of devils vary greatly in different parts of Tasmania. In the high density areas, there seem to be about 20 devils living in about 10-20 square km. Of course, this number goes up when young come out of dens but it goes gradually down as young ones perhaps die or disperse. There are probably about 100-150 thousand devils in the wild.