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Car cameras could help find live thylacines

Posted on Monday, 24 March, 2014 | Comment icon 40 comments

One of the last known living thylacines. Image Credit: Benjamin A. Sheppard
Crash-test cameras mounted on cars could be the key to proving that the Tasmanian tiger still survives.
Believed to have gone extinct in 1936 due to intensive hunting practices, the thylacine has gained a lot of attention in cryptozoological circles over the last few decades due to continued reports and sightings of the animals right up to the present day.

Naturalists such as Tasmanian tiger expert Mike Williams, who believes that live thylacines still survive in the wild, have been attempting to gather evidence for years.

To this end, Williams is now encouraging drivers to install crash-test cameras on their cars to capture footage of the animals on Australia's roads, a common place for sightings.

"If you live in an area where you think thylacines have been seen, then crash-test cameras are the go," he said. "Post 1950, a large percentage of the sightings have been made by people in cars at night. Thatís why crash-test camera technology on cars is so important."

The last alleged sighting of a thylacine was around 16 months ago.

Source: The Mercury | Comments (40)

Tags: Thylacine

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #31 Posted by SubjectDigamma on 3 May, 2014, 16:23
It means, thay THINK it's extinct.
Comment icon #32 Posted by Night Walker on 4 May, 2014, 0:19
No, it means that the thylacine objectively meets the various criteria for being considered extinct. So, to the best of our knowledge the thylacine IS extinct...
Comment icon #33 Posted by Timonthy on 7 May, 2014, 13:56
Just a bit from a thread on an article I just posted: They were slow-growing, producing few young, and the last wild tiger was killed in 1930. "At best they lived in the wild until 1950," Mr Maynard said. "The last one probably died in the wild alone and unknown. "The road kill in Tasmania is exceptional - 293,000 animals a year - and not one of them in the last 50 years has been a thylacine." And the 293,000 a year comes from here: [list] [*]Estimated roadkill per year: 293,000 [*]Brushtailed possum: 108,543 [*]Pademelon: 28,854 [*]Wallaby: 15,829 [*]Tasmanian devi... [More]
Comment icon #34 Posted by E. L. Wisty on 7 May, 2014, 15:23
Didn't somebody take an alleged photo of a thylacine not all that long ago? I remember it being a hasty snap where the front half of the beast was obscured by a bush, but one of its most distinctive features - a tail with a root far thicker than any breed of dog - was clearly visible. Did that get debunked? Living thylacines are a lot more plausible than most cryptids because firstly, they're real animals that definitely existed and only died out less than a century ago, and secondly, Australia's a huge country with lots of uninhabited wilderness for them to hide out in, especially... [More]
Comment icon #35 Posted by DieChecker on 7 May, 2014, 20:50
That is truly amazing. I've only ever hit one animal, a squirrel, about 15 years ago. Are Tasmanians bad drivers, or are the critters just so thick they can't be avoided?
Comment icon #36 Posted by Domina Lucis on 8 May, 2014, 5:27
It'd be nice if they did, but I don't think they will. I think it's pretty unlikely for it to be alive after all these years with such few sightings. But who knows? I think there's a slight possibility. Besides, they're pretty cool animals.
Comment icon #37 Posted by sam12six on 10 May, 2014, 1:09
Yeah, it's luck of the draw. I was at a bar once to shoot in a pool tournament. A guy who was going to shoot that night comes stomping in in a rage because he hit a deer on his way to the bar and his car was all messed up (the deer was apparently fine). He decided he couldn't concentrate on pool when so upset so he decided he'd just leave. 15 minutes later he came back purple in the face to let us know he hit ANOTHER deer on his way home. ------ To answer the question posed in the thread title: Yes, technology will find the Tasmanian tiger. A crazy scientist friend of mine is alt... [More]
Comment icon #38 Posted by Sir Wearer of Hats on 10 May, 2014, 23:32
Given that most Aussies haven't seen a genetically pure Dingo, they'd assume they hit a dog - maybe some sort of feral grey hound.
Comment icon #39 Posted by Sundew on 20 June, 2014, 19:08
I suppose the only caveat might be if an animal is very rare, say less than 50 individuals, and lived in very remote areas with few roads, it would be less likely to be hit by a car.
Comment icon #40 Posted by magikgoddess on 12 July, 2014, 4:04
There have been reports of sightings of thylacine in the most remotest parts of Tasmania. (Re)discovering extinct creatures is not unheard of, don't forget about the celocamph- once thought to have died out 65 million years ago. It would be wonderful to find a couple of living thylacines and reestablish their population, they're primitive & neat looking critters.

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