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Thylacine Research Unit - T.R.U

Thylacine Research Unit

T.R.U.

Thylacine research unit - frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Artist: Bill Flowers

 

T.R.U is contacted on a daily basis from a large variety of people seeking information about our activities, techniques, equipment, and research findings. The information below are the most commonly asked questions and their associated answers. We will of course add to this content over time as new questions are asked.

 

 

Q. I think I have seen a Thylacine/Tasmanian Tiger how do I make a report?

Q. How many team members are there in T.R.U.?

Q. What Government funding does the team receive?

Q. Is the team out there searching for the Tasmanian Tiger 24/7?

Q. Is there a reward for finding the Thylacine?

Q.I've found a footprint that I think might be Thylacine - what does one look like?

Q.What type of trail cameras do you guys use?

Q.Why don't you guys setup cameras for remote viewing from the field?

Q.I see that some people have donated cameras to support your valuable research. How can I donate a camera?

Q.What will T.R.U actually do if it finds the Thylacine or Tasmanian Tiger?













































Q. I think I have seen a Thylacine/Tasmanian Tiger how do I make a report?

A. Firstly, time is very important. As best you can fill in the brief sighting report and we will be in contact with you as soon possible. Try to keep the information confidential as we don't want the area disturbed before we can get there to collect any remaining evidence. The initial sighting report should take you no more than 5 minutes to fill out and can be found here

Q. How many team members are there in T.R.U.?

A. There are three core members to the T.R.U - Chris, Bill, and Waz. However, we have a plethora of 'associate' members that have signed up on our website. If you are interested you can register here

Q. What Government funding does the team receive?

A. T.R.U is not in anyway linked to any Government. We receive no Government sponsorship or endorsement. All funds for activities are sourced from the core team members own resources or through donations from associate members, and followers of T.R.U.

Q. Is the team out there searching for the Tasmanian Tiger 24/7?

A. Whilst the team would absolutely love to be searching for the Thylacine 24/7 - unfortunately, we all maintain 'day jobs' - we have to earn money from our 9 to 5 professions in order to be able to invest in equipment and other resources to conduct our search. This also means that the majority of the time we are investigating is during our days off including annual leave from work, public holidays, and weekends.

Q. Is there a reward for finding the Thylacine?

A. Over the years there have been a few offers by various groups or parties regarding the payment of a reward for finding continued existence of the Thylacine. In the 1980s the now defunct Bulletin Magazine offered a $1 million reward, and American businessman also offered several hundred thousand dollars. An Australian tour company also offered a large reward for finding the Thylacine, so long as it was found on one of their tours. At present time there is no reward capable of being collected.

Q.Is there any evidence that the Thylacine is not extinct?

A. Despite numerous reports and sightings there is no verifiable evidence that the Thylacine is still extant. Individual sightings, regardless of how reputable the witness may be cannot be considered as proof as even the most experienced witness could be mistaken. Until there is verifiable photo/video footage and preferably DNA evidence the Thylacine will remain classified as extinct.

Q.I've found a footprint that I think might be Thylacine - what does one look like?

A. Please see below a representation of what a Thylacine print should look like. Note that the toes should face slightly inwards and look for the presence of dermal ridges in the pads. The vast majority of prints that we see are dog prints or wombat prints. There are many wild or feral dogs in the wilds of Tasmania and other parts of Australia.

According to Pocock (1926), as sited in the great thylacine reference site, Thylacine Museum, The thylacine is digitigrade, meaning it normally walks on its toes. The feet of the thylacine differ significantly from those of dasyurids (Pocock 1926).

The pads of the feet are granulated rather than striated. The front foot (manus) has a small, largely non-functional thumb (pollex) which sometimes (although rarely) will leave an imprint in tracks made in soft mud. Unlike those of a dog, the thylacine's toes have no webbing between them. In canids, this webbing serves to hold the digits together when running. In the thylacine, there is a fusion of the three interdigital pads to form a single, tri-lobed plantar pad.

Q.What type of trail cameras do you guys use?

A. We currently use the Ltl Acorn series of trail cameras. Mainly the 5210 and 6210, however we are now attempting to standardise on the 6210 as it provides HD 1080P picture quality and sound recording. Whilst these cameras aren't the top of the line - we find that they are great little camera and offer a good compromise between price and quality.

Q.Why don't you guys setup cameras for remote viewing from the field?

A. Whilst we would love doing this is not practical because of the very poor mobile coverage in Tasmania. There are number of cameras that offer this type of capability, however, most work on the basis of having good phone coverage. In the vast majority of cases the locations we investigate have ZERO phone coverage. Additionally, even if there was coverage in a location - phone charges in Australia are prohibitive in comparison to those enjoyed by our friends in North America, the UK, and Europe of and Ireland too :-)

Q.I see that some people have donated cameras to support your valuable research. How can I donate a camera?

A. We have setup a program to allow for people to contribute by donating a camera. You even get to name it so it can be referred to in future episodes of T.R.U investigations. If you are interested in helping us out please check out our adoptacam program here

Q.What will T.R.U actually do if it finds the Thylacine or Tasmanian Tiger?

A. In the unlikely event that we do re-discover the Thylacine - effectively proving conventional science and even ourselves wrong we have a T.R.U protocol to follow. This protocol states that our number 1 priority is for the care and preservation for the animal - even if this means sacrificing opportunities to gather definitive proof. We would not attempt to interact with the animal in any way. Rather, we will record and observe. It is then our hope that through this observation will be able to gain sufficient evidence through video, photo, prints, and perhaps DNA from scat and or dropped hairs to be able to prove the existence of the animal. We would not reveal the location of the sighting. Like all scientific endeavours the evidence would be put out for peer review. At the appropriate time (post evidence confirmation) we will make announcements in the appropriate media - but it is our intent to announce it on our Facebook page first. Of course, if an image is caught on a sponsored camera we will mention that sponsors contribution to the find.