Thylacines (Tasmanian Tiger / Wolf): Misc.

Sharon Hill

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#91
the thylacine population was stable when the Europeans arrived
It was? I guess you could say that. Evolutionarily speaking, being exclusive to Tasmania at that point, the species seemed in trouble. That's the way I was thinking about it. Wouldn't that small distribution space suggest that its long-term existence is far more tenuous?
 

oldrover

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#92
It was? I guess you could say that. Evolutionarily speaking, being exclusive to Tasmania at that point, the species seemed in trouble. That's the way I was thinking about it. Wouldn't that small distribution space suggest that its long-term existence is far more tenuous?
In terms of its massive reduction in range yes. I think it'd be very hard to argue that it wasn't on the skids. But, in terms of the Tasmanian population itself as far as I'm aware there's nothing to suggest a decline in the population prior to European arrival. Realistically though we have no real idea what the population was in 1804, nor at other time that century.

Once Europeans arrived though yes I'd agree that the tiger's restricted range was a major factor in its extinction.
 

lordmongrove

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#93
Anecdotes and fuzzy pictures constitute "a good chance"? I strongly disagree. That's very wishful thinking when one considers the need for a certain number of individuals to sustain the population these past 100 years, the fact that they were long extinct on mainland Australia by thousands of years and declining in Tasmania when the colonists arrived. I'd say it's an extreme view to say they are still around. False hope (and perhaps deep feelings of guilt) aren't going to bring it back. Maybe cloning will but not for a while and not really. The population is gone.
Have you been out there? I have, several times. The west of the Island is wilderness, some of the the most remote i've seen. The human population of the Island is less than half a million and they are mostly in the two major cities. The Tasmanian wolf's closest relation, the Tasmania devil has been studied closely in recent years, especially the genetics. This is due to devil facial tumour. a horrific disease which is essentially, transmitable cancer. It seems that the devil populaton can recover from very, very low numbers. It's quite possible that the closely realated Tasmanian wolf is the same. I've spoken to witnesses such as government licence shooters and former loggers who have seen thylacines. None of these people have axes to grin and most want the locations kept secret. I've also seen a sequence of film that shoes a stiff tailed, striped, dog shaped animal moving from beside a tree into the bush. Another odd thing that happened to me deep in the Tasmanian forest was a very strange smell. Old thylacine hunters, zookeepers and animal dealers who had experience with the animals and who were interviewed when they were still alive agreed that the Tasmanian wolf smelled very like a hyena. I used to be a zookeeper myself and i know the smell of a hyena. In 2016 i was following a trail through a remote forest in Tasmania when that smell hit me. It was if the animal had crossed the path shortly before and left the odour. The smell was very localized and was absent when i later returned. I can't say that was a thylacine but it was strange that a hyena-like smell was left behind by something in a Tasmanian forest.
 

oldrover

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#94
The trouble is it isn't a questipn of whether there's enough undisturbed land for to suppport the thylacine now, but whether there was enough back in the early 20thC when the fur trapper's annual tally eas roughly 700,000 to 1000,000 animals a year.
 

Sharon Hill

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#95
Have you been out there? I have, several times. The west of the Island is wilderness, some of the the most remote i've seen. The human population of the Island is less than half a million and they are mostly in the two major cities. The Tasmanian wolf's closest relation, the Tasmania devil has been studied closely in recent years, especially the genetics. This is due to devil facial tumour. a horrific disease which is essentially, transmitable cancer. It seems that the devil populaton can recover from very, very low numbers. It's quite possible that the closely realated Tasmanian wolf is the same. I've spoken to witnesses such as government licence shooters and former loggers who have seen thylacines. None of these people have axes to grin and most want the locations kept secret. I've also seen a sequence of film that shoes a stiff tailed, striped, dog shaped animal moving from beside a tree into the bush. Another odd thing that happened to me deep in the Tasmanian forest was a very strange smell. Old thylacine hunters, zookeepers and animal dealers who had experience with the animals and who were interviewed when they were still alive agreed that the Tasmanian wolf smelled very like a hyena. I used to be a zookeeper myself and i know the smell of a hyena. In 2016 i was following a trail through a remote forest in Tasmania when that smell hit me. It was if the animal had crossed the path shortly before and left the odour. The smell was very localized and was absent when i later returned. I can't say that was a thylacine but it was strange that a hyena-like smell was left behind by something in a Tasmanian forest.
Sorry but "I know something is going on" isn't convincing to me. It sounds more like a strong will to believe which isn't good enough. We have decades of no verifiable signs and everything that points to a very high certainty that they are long gone. I'm going to play the odds. I don't have to be on the ground to prove things to myself. That's an impossible and flawed standard to use. But I can use reason to make a judgment, and by weighing what's given, the thylacine is lost.
 

lordmongrove

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#96
Sorry but "I know something is going on" isn't convincing to me. It sounds more like a strong will to believe which isn't good enough. We have decades of no verifiable signs and everything that points to a very high certainty that they are long gone. I'm going to play the odds. I don't have to be on the ground to prove things to myself. That's an impossible and flawed standard to use. But I can use reason to make a judgment, and by weighing what's given, the thylacine is lost.
Same lazy, tired arguments of someone who hasn't done the fieldwork or got their hands dirty. If people are just wanting iconic extinct animals to still be alive then were are all the sightings of the dodo, the great auk, Steller's sea cow, the Carolina parakeet or the Bali tiger? There are none because those animals are extinct but year after year we get reports of the Tasmanian wolf. Are all these witnesses, including ones with great bushcraft, all liars or mistaking feral dogs? I don't think so. Again someone claiming a cryptid cannot exist with out ever being bothered to look for it. Excuse me if i laugh loudly.
 

oldrover

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#97
In all fairness the quality of reported sightings from Tasmania is very variable. Having read the FOI release most were terrible. Also, of those who've conducted long term surveys since 1936, many have come to the conclusion that the tiger is extinct. And while a sighting by an experienced bushman will seem very compelling there's no denying that experienced trappers were msidentifying them back in the period we know they were still around. It's also worth noting that anyone who began their trapping career after about 1905 would only have had at most one experience with the thylacine. The idea of an experienced 'tigerman' is a myth that was allowed to build up in the decades after the 1930s.

Look at the tally, Walter Mullins( unemployed timber worker and trapper at Tyenna-one adult, Arthur Murray, full time trapper at Warratah- one tiger, Dan Delphin, bankrupt publican at Magnet-two tigers same location and time, and Elias Churchill, shyster and illegal publican at Adamsfield- no contemporary evidence of ever having captured a single thylacine. Yet Churchill is regarded as an authoratitive source.

So to be honest, being an experienced bushman today probably doesn't give anyone an insight into the thylacine.
 

oldrover

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#98
But, as I started the above post talking about fairness.

Like me, Lordmongrove will know the private opinions of many of the leading 'authorities' on the subject, as in publishing scientists. And I think it'd surprise many sceptics (aming whom I'd include myself) to hear that many still believe it's out there. It certainly surprises me anyway.
 

Sharon Hill

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#99
Same lazy, tired arguments of someone who hasn't done the fieldwork or got their hands dirty. If people are just wanting iconic extinct animals to still be alive then were are all the sightings of the dodo, the great auk, Steller's sea cow, the Carolina parakeet or the Bali tiger? There are none because those animals are extinct but year after year we get reports of the Tasmanian wolf. Are all these witnesses, including ones with great bushcraft, all liars or mistaking feral dogs? I don't think so. Again someone claiming a cryptid cannot exist with out ever being bothered to look for it. Excuse me if i laugh loudly.
Following the news, people regularly report sightings of exotic animals that turn out to be not that - they are common species, domestic animals, toys, etc. It’s well established that people make mistakes and occasionally lie or hoax. Even natives and people with experience.

I’m not laughing at you for your very passionate opinions. It’s not cool to mock a reasonable opinion that an extraordinary claim requires better comprehensive support. I don’t disparage people who investigate sightings but I am fully capable of forming my judgment based on existing data and logic instead of personally investigating every subject area, which is impossible and a flawed system. If better evidence comes along, I will reevaluate.
 

lordmongrove

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Following the news, people regularly report sightings of exotic animals that turn out to be not that - they are common species, domestic animals, toys, etc. It’s well established that people make mistakes and occasionally lie or hoax. Even natives and people with experience.

I’m not laughing at you for your very passionate opinions. It’s not cool to mock a reasonable opinion that an extraordinary claim requires better comprehensive support. I don’t disparage people who investigate sightings but I am fully capable of forming my judgment based on existing data and logic instead of personally investigating every subject area, which is impossible and a flawed system. If better evidence comes along, I will reevaluate.
That's very fair. Sorry if i came off a bit angry.
 

Lord Lucan

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Wilfred Batty and the last wild thylacine shot in 1930 - ABC Radio

Radio interview with the man who shot (and killed) the last documented wild thylacine.
 

oldrover

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Wilfred Batty and the last wild thylacine shot in 1930 - ABC Radio

Radio interview with the man who shot (and killed) the last documented wild thylacine.
This is an interesting interview, there's also a TV version, and a newspaper article. Batty's shooting has its own little discrepancies to resolve, and some of the details need clarifying. While in Tasmaniz recently I stumbled across a bit if new info too, which I'm intending to develope so can't go further with at the moment.

An important point though, this is not the last but actually the third from last thylacine known from the wild. Batty's gun went off around noon on May 13th 1930, but two further live captures took place. The first on the 7th July, and the second beetween the 3rd and the 9th of August.
 

sdoig

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hullo. ive been interested in this subject for ages!

quick question for those that know things

i would have thought a good way to prove the lack of an apex predator would be if there is now a super overabundance of their former prey species? (thinking here how Scotland now has far too many deer because theres barely anything capable of killing them)

is this the case in Tasmania?
 

oldrover

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hullo. ive been interested in this subject for ages!

quick question for those that know things

i would have thought a good way to prove the lack of an apex predator would be if there is now a super overabundance of their former prey species? (thinking here how Scotland now has far too many deer because theres barely anything capable of killing them)

is this the case in Tasmania?
Within the last few years (can't recall exactly when sorry) ex Parks and Wildlife man Nick Mooney, who led the last major official tiger hunt in the early 80s, stated that conditions for thylacines were better now than they had been for years. I don't know the population levels myself, numbers but there is a lot of potential prey about from what I've seen. Yet we aren't seeing an increase in plausible sightings.

The historical evidence is being re-examined now and what appear to be much more plausible and instructive conclusions are being drawn, all of which are dire for survival later than about the very early 30s in the wild.

Yet I'd be lying if I didn't tell you that I'm aware of one very recent sighting that I can't explain without a very subjective amount of conjecture. What that means I don't know.
 
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