chaos Thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus)
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Anecdotes | NTD75 in 2011 | NTD70 in 2006 | NTD60 in 1996 | NTD50 in 1986 |

National Endangered Species
Day Australia (NESDA)
National Thylacine Day 2016 (80th Anniversary: Death of the last Thylacine in captivity)
The last one
The last Thylacine in captivity died on 7 September 1936. This year marks the 80th anniversary of that occasion. During the last 20 000 years, the Thylacine was the largest carnivorous marsupial, so it played an important role as the top predator in its food web.
Fossils of Thylacines in Western Australia
Thylacines once roamed widely within Western Australia. Bones have been found at two sites in the north — Kimberley and Exmouth. Other evidence of Thylacines is in the rock art of the Pilbara. Conditions in caves of the southern half of the state have favoured the preservation of sub-fossils. In the south-west, Thylacine remains have been located in numerous caves. To the east, many other specimens, some with mummified tissue, have been recorded. Two mummified remains have been carbon dated at 3 280 to 4 650 years. A mummified carcass was recovered by the Western Australian Museum from a Nullarbor cave in 1969.
Recent sightings of Thylacines
There have been numerous sightings (over 1 000) of Thylacines during the last 75 years. Some of these have been carefully observed by reputable people. Unfortunately, there is very little other evidence to support these sightings.
Read what others have told us about their thylacine sightings.
A personal conservation thought
Why have Thylacines disappeared? The lack of understanding of animals in their environments is the general cause. This consists of many specific aspects. Dingoes competed for the same niche during the last 3500 years. Thylacines were killed because they attacked small farm animals. The hunting of Thylacines was encouraged by the Tasmanian authorities by the offering of a bounty. The hunting continued, even when it was obvious that Thylacine numbers were low. “With its passing, a whole family of marsupials which had existed for more than 10 million years became extinct.” (McNamara)
The hope
Perhaps many of the sightings are valid.
Perhaps Thylacines still exist in Tasmania.
Perhaps they are breeding in the south-west of Western Australia.
Perhaps we’ll be lucky enough to see one.
That’s the hope.
A Thylacine history
The Thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus) was the largest carnivore when European settlers first arrived in Australia. Even at that time, it was a rare animal—the first one was not captured until 1808 (five years after the settlement of Tasmania). By 1820, only four had been collected. Perhaps few more than 3,000 Thylacines ever existed. The animals were soon considered as unwanted. In 1888 a bounty of £1 was offered for each one killed. This was more pressure on the population than it was able to withstand. By 1900, more than 3,000 Thylacines had been killed. Population numbers had decreased to below the number required for survival of the species. Thylacines were now extremely rare. In 1909, just 101 years after the first capture, only two bounties were paid. The last Thylacine to be shot met its fate in 1930. The last Thylacine to be captured alive was sold to Beaumauris Zoo in Hobart in 1933 where it died three years later.
Contacts for sightings
We are always interested to hear of Thylacine sightings. Lindsay Hatcher or Alex J. Saar
These notes originally prepared in 1986 by Lindsay M. Hatcher and Alex J. Saar and have had minor alteration since then.
Internet links
Times have changed (unbelievably) since we did this initial list of thylacine links, just 15 years ago.
Not one of the links we used in 1996 is still active.
The world wide web is dynamic and changes from day to day. It would now be invidious to select because there is such a dearth of information out there.
  • The National Library of Australia is currently in the process of digitsing historic newspapers, magazines, photos, etc. and adding links to web pages and books and any other publications that it has in its archives. To date (30 Aug 2011), it has digitised a staggering 247,650,804 Australian and online resources. To use this treasure trove, this phenomenal resouce, try this.
    • Go to the web page Trove and you can use it as a guest.
      • You can also register for free which gives you extra capabilities
    • A search on Trove for "thylacine" gives:
      • 172 books, 90 pictures, 660 journal articles, 435 archived web sites, and 88 other items
    • You could also search for Tasmanian Tiger or Tasmanian Wolf.
  • An internet search (Google) for Thylacine or "Tasmanian Tiger" gives over 3,000,000 hits.
Additional reading (The 1996 list) At least, printed publications are unchanging.
  • Anon. (1982). Eighty-year-old Tasmanian Tiger dissected in Omega Science Digest July/August 1982 page 27.
  • DOUGLAS, Athol M. (1986). Tigers in Western Australia? in New Scientist 24 April 1986, pp. 44-47.
  • FLANNERY, T. (1990). Australia's Vanishing Mammals. R D Press, Sydney.
  • GUILER, Eric R. (1985). Thylacine: The Tragedy of the Tasmanian Tiger. Oxford University Press, Melbourne.
  • GUILER, Eric R. (1991). The Tasmanian Tiger in Pictures. St David's Park, Hobart.
  • HEALY, Tony & Paul CROPPER (1994). Out of the Shadows—Mystery Animals of Australia. Pan Macmillan, Ironbark.
  • JORDAN, Adye M. (1987). "The Tiger Man" The Thylacine—Yesterday Today and Tomorrow My Study and Findings. WordsworkExpress, n.p.
  • MCCORMACK, Rob (1986). Strange Intruder. Ashton Scholastic, Sydney.
  • MCNAMARA, Ken & Peter MURRAY (1985). Prehistoric mammals of Western Australia. Western Australian Museum, Perth.
  • PARK, Andy (1986). Tasmanian tiger: extinct or merely elusive in Australian Geographic 1(3):66-83.
  • RIDE, W.D.L. (1970). A Guide to the Native Mammals of Australia. Oxford University Press, Melbourne. pp.128-131.
  • ROUNSEVELL, D.E. (1983). Thylacine in Ronald STRAHAN (ed.) The Australian Museum Complete book of Australian Mammals : the National Photographic Index of Australian Wildlife. Angus & Robertson, Sydney. Pages 81-83.
  • SLEE, Sid (1987). The Haunt of the Marsupial Wolf. South West Printing and Publishing, Bunbury.
  • TROUGHTON, Ellis (1965). Furred Animals of Australia. Angus & Robertson. Sydney. pp. 50-52.

The Thylacine

I wish I had a thylacine to play with in my free time.
I’d feed and pat and cuddle her and have me such a glee time.
I’d clean her pouch of navel lint. I’d brush and groom her stripes.
I’d file her nails and feed her well and even like her bites.
Her elongated jaws and teeth would be in constant smile,
With all the care and pampering I’d lavish all the while.

To jealous friends and hangers-on who’d want her for their own,
I’d flaunt my pet and show her off, while all in envy groan.
I’d never let her from my sight, my precious tiger-doggy.
She’d be unique, one of a kind, unlike the urban moggy.<

Give ME the creature cloned from history’s long extincted pages.
I’ve yearned and searched and wanted one for absolutely ages!
14 May 1999

Contents 1998-2019 LXR Modified 5 January 2019