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Thylacines (Tasmanian Tiger / Wolf): Misc.

Sharon Hill

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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.
 

Lord Lucan

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On a lighter note (good to see there's still a sense of humour out there about such things)...
tastiger.jpg

A police department in Australia got quite the chuckle when officers noticed that someone had posted a rather professional-looking sign cautioning motorists that they were entering Tasmanian Tiger country. The amusing warning, which declares 'Caution Thylacines Next 50 kms' and features a silhouette of the iconic creature, was reportedly spotted in the town of Nannup earlier this week. Of course, the joke behind the sign is that scientists contend that the creature went extinct in the 1930s, but alleged sightings of the animal sporadically occur to this day.
https://www.coasttocoastam.com/arti...ine-warning-sign-amuses-drivers-in-australia/
 

Squail

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On a lighter note (good to see there's still a sense of humour out there about such things)...
View attachment 22336

https://www.coasttocoastam.com/arti...ine-warning-sign-amuses-drivers-in-australia/

If the following is screamingly obvious to all participants: my apologies -- but I find some amusement in the area of Australia concerned, being (pace massive incomprehension on my part) not even in Tasmania. I've always understood the town of Nannup to be in Western Australia, in the state's south-western corner (note at bottom right hand of the picture, "WA Police Force"). While people have in recent decades, allegedly sighted living thylacines (always hearsay only) in Western Australia, as in various other parts of the -- non-Tasmanian -- mainland continent; according to orthodox zoology, the thylacine has been extinct on the Australian mainland for some millennia.
 

Lord Lucan

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If the following is screamingly obvious to all participants: my apologies -- but I find some amusement in the area of Australia concerned, being (pace massive incomprehension on my part) not even in Tasmania. I've always understood the town of Nannup to be in Western Australia, in the state's south-western corner (note at bottom right hand of the picture, "WA Police Force"). While people have in recent decades, allegedly sighted living thylacines (always hearsay only) in Western Australia, as in various other parts of the -- non-Tasmanian -- mainland continent; according to orthodox zoology, the thylacine has been extinct on the Australian mainland for some millennia.

True, however that being said, there just as many alleged sightings (if not more) on mainland Australia then there are reported in Tasmania itself. Reports come in from Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia plus a number from New South Wales, especially around the Byron Bay and Nimbin areas. Regardless of what the locals there are renowned for smoking, people are seeing something. Thylacines? I can't answer that for you, though I wish I could.
 

Cochise

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True, however that being said, there just as many alleged sightings (if not more) on mainland Australia then there are reported in Tasmania itself. Reports come in from Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia plus a number from New South Wales, especially around the Byron Bay and Nimbin areas. Regardless of what the locals there are renowned for smoking, people are seeing something. Thylacines? I can't answer that for you, though I wish I could.
Well, I guess they are all fried now :-(
 

oldrover

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True, however that being said, there just as many alleged sightings (if not more) on mainland Australia then there are reported in Tasmania itself. Reports come in from Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia plus a number from New South Wales, especially around the Byron Bay and Nimbin areas. Regardless of what the locals there are renowned for smoking, people are seeing something. Thylacines? I can't answer that for you, though I wish I could.
Well, I can tell you this much they certainly weren't seeing them in any numbers until relatively recently, you did have the odd one back in the 30s, but very rare, most mystery animal reports in the papers of those days were of cat-like aninals, some get lumped in with thylacines but that seems to have been the result of confusion over the word tiger.

The mainland tiger phenomena was always a non-starter but it's sunk into new levels of bad these days, people claiming they've interbred with foxes etc.
 

maximus otter

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Even considering the guesstimated butcher’s bill among wildlife due to the fires, it would be a tiny silver lining if just one fresh thylacine corpse were to be found...

maximus otter
 

Lord Lucan

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A new documentary in the making to be released in 2021:

Tasmanian tiger quest catches eye of Vice documentary makers
If an animal is declared extinct more than 80 years ago, most people would assume it no longer exists — but Neil Waters is not one of those people.

Key points:
  • The last known thylacine died in captivity in Tasmania in 1936
  • Despite officially listed as extinct, many people believe the species has survived in remote areas of Tasmania and the mainland
  • A Tasmanian group of believers and the continuing quest for proof is about to become the subject of a documentary film
Neither are the almost 8,000 members of his Facebook group.

"When you talk to scientists about thylacines, you're a bit of a tinfoil hat whack job, because once an animal's declared extinct, that's it, case closed … but they're out there," he said.

Mr Waters is the president of the Thylacine Awareness Group of Australia, a collection of believers who are convinced the Tasmanian tiger — once the dominant predator across Australia — still roams the island state, and maybe even the mainland.

"I had two sightings in Tassie myself," Mr Waters, who lives in Tasmania's north, said.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-02/thylacine-hunter-neil-waters-documentary/12111484
 

oldrover

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