Is a committed group of scientists, naturalists and specialists from diverse backgrounds. The researchers who compose the T.R.U. are engaged in field investigations and experiments designed to address various aspects of the natural history and determination of the continued existence of the thylacine. Through the education and experience of its members and the quality of their research and investigation, the T.R.U. seeks to be the most credible and respected investigative network involved in the study of the Thylacine (Tasmanian Tiger).
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Extinct or Extant?
There have been close to 400 reported sightings in Tasmania since 1936 and potentially hundreds of unreported sightings. Also hundreds of sightings are reported from mainland Australia.
The Thylacine or Tasmanian Tiger
The thylacine or Thylacinus cynocephalus(dog-headed pouched-dog) is a large carnivorous marsupial now believed to be extinct. It was the only member of the family Thylacinidae to survive into modern times. It is also known as the Tasmanian Tiger or Tasmanian Wolf.
The Thylacine is one of the most fabled and maligned animals in the world. Yet, despite its fame, it is one of the least understood of Tasmania's native animals. European settlers were puzzled by it, feared it and killed it when they could. After only a century of white settlement the animal had been pushed to the brink of extinction.
Every effort was made, by snaring, trapping, poisoning and shooting, to eradicate the species. Bounty records indicate that a sudden decline in Thylacine numbers occurred early in the 20th century. Hunting and habitat destruction leading to population fragmentation, are believed to have been the main causes of extinction. The remnant population was further weakened by a distemper-like disease.
The last known Thylacine died in Hobart Zoo on 7th September, 1936. This is now known as 'Threatened Species Day'
Since 1936, no conclusive evidence of a Thylacine has been found. However, the incidence of reported Thylacine sightings has continued. Most sightings occur at night, in the north of the State, in or near areas where suitable habitat is still available. Although the species is now considered to be 'extinct', do these sightings suggest that the Thylacine may still exist?