Thylacine

From Appropedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus) is a marsupial declared to be now extinct. It is popularly known as the Tasmanian tiger because of the distinctive stripes across its back and because its final refuge was Australia’s island state, Tasmania.[1]

Thousands of years ago, the range of the thylacine included the mainland of Australia, and rock paintings and specimens have been found on mainland of Australia.

The thylacine had cohabited the island of Tasmania with the indigenous people for fifty thousand years. With British occupation dating from 1803 came sheep, and farmers complained, whether right or wrong, that thylacines were killing their sheep. The government of Tasmania put a bounty on the thylacine to encourage the extermination of the species.[2]

The bounty along with the capture and export of thylacines for European and American museums reduced numbers dramatically over several decades. Bounties peaked in 1900 at 153 and dropped to just 2 in 1910, and none thereafter.[2][3]

In a classic example of the postcautionary principle, on 10 July 1936 the thylacine was declared a protected species, and on 7 September 1936 the last thylacine in captivity died at the Beaumaris Zoo in Hobart; the Tasmanian government subsequently declared on 4 April 1937 that no further zoo permits would be issued for the capture of thylacines.[2][4]


Extensive searches have been mounted in Tasmania for the thylacine without success. There continue to be reports of sightings of thylacines in Tasmania and even in southern Australia but all are unsubstantiated and without physical or photographic evidence, or even scats.[5]

See also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

  1. Guiler, Eric. (1985). Thylacine: The Tragedy of the Tasmanian Tiger. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Paull, John (2011) "Environmental Management in Tasmania: Better off Dead?", In Island Futures: Conservation and Development Across the Asia-Pacific Region, Godfrey Baldacchino & Daniel Niles (Eds), Global Environment Series, Tokyo: Springer, Chapter 12: 153-168.
  3. Guiler, Eric. (1985). Thylacine: The Tragedy of the Tasmanian Tiger. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
  4. Guiler, Eric. (1985). Thylacine: The Tragedy of the Tasmanian Tiger. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
  5. Guiler, Eric & Godard, Philippe (1938). Tasmanian Tiger: A lesson to be learnt. Perth: Abrolhos Publishing.