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Naturalists hunt for Tasmanian Tiger evidence

thylacine

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#16    LimeGelatin

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 04:22 PM

Well, if the damn things have evaded extinction for so long... I assume they were only capable of  doing so by evading humans... -Here's a bright idea... Let's go re-expose something, we have already almost killed off, to our presence! Simply for our own enjoyment : even though human interaction with the animal kingdom has never benefitted the creatures before... :no:

Edited by LimeGelatin, 04 November 2013 - 04:23 PM.


#17    DieChecker

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 05:30 AM

View PostStill Waters, on 02 November 2013 - 09:24 PM, said:

THE thylacine has officially been put on notice: the hunt is on.

An international team of naturalists from the Centre for Fortean Zoology has arrived in Tasmania for the first in a series of well-resourced and professional expeditions into Tasmania's wilderness to hunt for evidence of the Tasmanian tiger.

http://www.themercur...1-1226749322972

I hope they enjoy their CFZ paid vacations in NZ!

View PostPeter B, on 03 November 2013 - 11:36 AM, said:

The problem is that carnivores like the Tasmanian Tiger need large populations of prey animals in order to survive, and the amount of space available for them is unlikely to be large enough to harbour a viable population. Or at least, this was the opinion expressed to me several years ago by a Tasmanian biologist when I asked him.
What about a Non-viable population? There might only be a dozen left, but if there is, then human tampering might still bring the creature back from the brink.

Personnally, I wish them luck. But I also, am not going to hold my breath.

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#18    Dragonwind

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 09:39 AM

View Postaearluin, on 03 November 2013 - 06:27 PM, said:

I don't put much hopes on random sightings by locals.
I think its very likely the specimen that died in Hobart zoo was not the very 'last' thyacine to go extinct. Beyond the 1970's, however, australia surged in population and development. Some sightings from the 50's, 60's and 70's may in fact be true but pushing beyond that the landscape has become far more fragmented in recent times. I just think that no matter how remote tasmania can get, it's still a small place and people do penetrate those wilderness areas and their fringes often. It's not the Amazon. It just amazes me that if they still existed one has not been hit by a car, captured by camera or left scats/remains to anaylize.

The super 8 footage on youtube taken in the 70's with an alleged thylacine loping across a road looks pretty good...not sure if thats ever been debunked??

Edited by Dragonwind, 06 November 2013 - 09:53 AM.


#19    kreative1

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Posted 10 November 2013 - 03:44 AM

http://www.heraldsun...9074495  Living in Gippsland, I haven't seen any Tassie tigers, big cats yes but it is common belief that they do exist around here especially around Loch Sport and lakes Victoria/King. These 3 videos are interesting, not sure about the first two, but the third is still talked out. Most sighting happen on the mainland.


#20    gatekeeper32

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Posted 10 November 2013 - 03:39 PM

Be good for a change to know an species still exists.


#21    oldrover

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Posted 10 November 2013 - 11:46 PM

However I'm not holding my breath. The problem is that carnivores like the Tasmanian Tiger need large populations of prey animals in order to survive, and the amount of space available for them is unlikely to be large enough to harbour a viable population. Or at least, this was the opinion expressed to me several years ago by a Tasmanian biologist when I asked him.



You’re right of course but the situation in Tasmania in the absence of the thylacine and with the sharp decline of the devil is that there’s plenty of suitable prey, or at least what we believe would be suitable prey. In fact this is one of the reasons that you can be fairly certain the thylacine is extinct, it’d be a boom time for them now if there were any left they’d be thriving.

I believe at one time there were plans to capture and relocate any surviving Thylacines to small islands near the south coast of Tasmania, stocked with Wallabies, their principal natural prey item. …

The Thylacine is a really sad chapter in our dealing with the natural world. Let's hope they are still out there somewhere and can yet recover.

There were plans to capture and relocate thylacines, most notably by David Fleay in the 40’s, and later Dr Eric Guiler had a sanctuary set aside in which he hoped to release a breeding pair.

The idea of thylacines being particularly subject to stress when being captured probably comes from the capture of diseased individuals. At least this is the theory that Paddle proposed in his book ‘The Last Tasmanian Tiger: The History and Extinction of the Thylacine’.

Although this is often overlooked, it was known that there was a population of thylacine in the Derwent Valley until at least 1938. So it’s almost certain that they’d have survived into the 40’s, but it’s almost equally certain that they’d have survived no later.

It’s impossible to say exactly what happened when, but it’s likely that the multiple bounty schemes in place in the 19th Century, as well as private hunting arrangements, pushed the species into terminal decline, by taking more animals than could be replaced by the natural breeding rate of the wild population. This would have interrupted breeding opportunities and further weakened what evidence suggests was an already small gene pool.

The number of animals taken from the wild crashed in the first decade of the 20th Century, suggesting that numbers had already become critically compromised by then. In addition to this and aside from habitat destruction and competition from introduced predators, the coup de grace was in all probability delivered by the outbreak a disease ‘similar to canine distemper’ to quote Guiler, that spread through both the wild and captive populations. Exactly how destructive this disease was is in question. Contemporary witnesses like Alison Reid describe it as being essentially asymptomatic and fatal, whereas revisionists like Paddle have questioned if it was ever really this severe, preferring to shift the responsibility fully onto human shoulders, although he has since published on the disease and it’s place in the thylacine’s extinction.  Personally I’m highly dubious of Paddle’s objectivity and believe Reid.

As for Devil Facial Tumour Disease they’re not getting it from infected carcases but transferring it to each other during group feeding, a time when they tend to trade bites and nips.

There’s no danger of thylacine existing on logging land firstly because this wasn’t the habitat the animal is recorded as proffering, and secondly they’re extinct.

The thylacine was never kept as a pet, there are a few cases were they were privately kept in captivity certainly but never as pets. At no point has it ever been suggested that thylacine shared beds with their owners, this is pure myth and modern myth at that. In fact there’s no record of anyone ever taming or domesticating an adult thylacine. Though there are stories of captive animals being more alert to approach of visitors etc than dogs ever were, there’s also no record or suggestion that they ever guarded anything. Though the history of captive thylacines is essentially that of human and reluctant wild animal, there are stories of affectionate bonds forming such as the story of Reg and Lucy, but I believe that one at least to be essentially tosh.

As an aside Will Cramp the last surviving person to have regular contact with the last captive specimen stated that it was fairly hostile, and that it was understood among the keepers that entering the cage would probably provoke an attack. The prelude to which is captured on the famous Fleay film, shortly after filming stopped the animal bit him on the ****.

It was never illegal to keep a thylacine at the time when any were kept in private hands, legal protection only came into force in 1936, which was some three years after the last record of a privately held thylacine.

And forget recreating the thylacine, almost nothing is known about this animal, but from the study of captive devils it’s certain that much of its behaviour was complex and learned. So all we’ll ever manage is to clone would be a replica not suitable for the wild.


#22    oldrover

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 03:08 PM

The super 8 footage on youtube taken in the 70's with an alleged thylacine loping across a road looks pretty good...not sure if thats ever been debunked

It has, frame by frame examination shows stills where the hind foot is clearly too long for a thylacine but within the normal range for a canid.


#23    UM-Bot

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 12:53 PM

A team from the Centre for Fortean Zoology is in Tasmania hunting for signs of the 'extinct' thylacine.

Quote

Investigators including Dr Chris Clarke and Richard Freeman are now one week in to their two-week expedition in search of evidence that the thylacine, a species that was declared officially extinct in the 1980s, still survives in the wilds of Tasmania.

Read More: http://www.unexplain...live-thylacines

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#24    RedDusk

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 01:39 PM

Personally I believe they have gone extinct by now, their extinction date just is too far back, if they somehow managed to evade poachers, hunters, and general pop. it would be cool, but I just don't see it being realistic. This expedition into the its former habitat I have mixed feelings about. If they survived this long without true human contact there should be no reason for them t being having that same contact again. I mean think about it. Even if they preserved the habitat (which in current times I doubt it) you still have people that illegally hunt in those habitats and will make sure to put the Tiger back on the extinction list. But I am for the expedition simply put that to take something off the extinction list is something amazing, just the sheer thought of it sends shivers down my spine. I just overall dislike the expedition however it would be nice to see results.

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#25    Timonthy

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 03:05 PM

'No doubt' eh? Without any solid evidence that just makes them sound like another crackpot team wanting it too badly.
You would think that they would rely on a little more than 'highly credible' witnesses and a big piece of feces.

For now they have lost all credibility with me. Lets see what the remaining week and test results bring to the table...

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#26    Chooky88

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 04:00 PM

I know Tassie. Been there many times as the wife is  a Tasmanian. The problem is the thylacine didn't live where they are looking. And Tassie Devil poo looks like person poo. It's huge! So I think it's devil poo they found. And a point of interest is that Tassie is home to many wombats, they use poo to mark their territory, so it doesn't roll away,  it's cube shaped! . True story, seen it fir myself!


#27    taniwha

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 06:33 AM

I think its odd they are called tigers. With all them black n white stripes they look more like zebras. Anyhow I think there may be a chance that they could have survived through interbreeding with straying farm dogs or wild dingoes. A watered down thylacine would be better than no thylacine at all.


#28    Peter B

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 03:56 PM

View Posttaniwha, on 14 November 2013 - 06:33 AM, said:

...Anyhow I think there may be a chance that they could have survived through interbreeding with straying farm dogs or wild dingoes. A watered down thylacine would be better than no thylacine at all.
You think what?

Thylacines were marsupials. Dogs are not marsupials. Seriously, dogs are more closely related to humans than they are to marsupials.


#29    Squatchthulhu

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 04:13 PM

Actually it's also know as a Tasmanian Wolf.
Being that it is a marsupial and not a feline or lupine I doubt there is any possibility of a viable crossbreeding.

There was a great podcast about more of the genetics and some postulation about living thylacine on Monster Talk a while back ago.



#30    taniwha

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 09:52 PM

View PostPeter B, on 14 November 2013 - 03:56 PM, said:

You think what?

Thylacines were marsupials. Dogs are not marsupials. Seriously, dogs are more closely related to humans than they are to marsupials.

lol i guess it was wishful thinking. I read somewhere that they were naturally nocturnal predators habitating elevated highlands so this would account for lack of daytime sightings.

Its a remote possibility, but even so, in NZ we have plenty of Kiwi species and though they are endangered and our national icon, the only place most people including New Zealanders ever get to see one is in a zoo as they are shy elusive and nocturnal creatures like has been described of the Tasmanian tiger.








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