Recently, there have been several sightings of an extinct carnivore species, the Tasmanian tiger. Such specimens were allegedly spotted in northern Australia, in the remote Cape York Peninsula. In turn, this has opened the path towards a new research.
Extinct Carnivore Still Alive?
The thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus) or the Tasmanian tiger or wolf was declared extinct back in 1936. It was the largest marsupial to live in modern times and also the last member of its family. This extinct carnivore species was native to New Guinea, Tasmania, and Australia.
According to records, this was a nocturnal creature with the size of a medium-to-large dog. It possibly presented some reminiscence to kangaroos. For example, it is known to have had a stiff tail and an abdominal pouch. It also had dark transverse stripes. These radiated from its top to its back, similar to tigers.
Sightings of this apex predator have been reported since it was declared extinct. Nonetheless, none of them were confirmed. However, the most recent reports have prompted a team of scientists to take action. They will be trying to establish if the carnivore species is, in fact, extinct. Or, if perhaps some specimens are still roaming about.
The team chose this course of action as Tasmanian tiger sightings have grown in number in recent years. This has started raising questions. In order to test their validity, science will do the following. A team will install over 50 camera traps. These will be spread across the remote Cape York Peninsula, in northern Australia.
This area would offer the perfect conditions for a surviving specimen as it is remote. All the other sightings were considered cases of mistaken identity. But two new eyewitness accounts, from a park ranger and a tour guide, have prompted this survey.
The Carnivorous Species Was Hunted To Extinction
The research team behind the project believe these two cases to be quite plausible. As such, they do not want to miss the chance of spotting a live Tasmanian tiger.
The last specimen of the species died back in 1936 in a zoo. Since then, the thylacines have been considered extinct. They reached this unenviable status as they were hunted to extinction. Tasmanian tigers were accused of killing off the settlers’ sheep. Back in the 18th and 19th scheme, a bounty scheme was set in action. It was carried out in between 1830 and 1914 and is blamed for the disappearance of the species. Although people stopped hunting them, it was too late for the species.
As it is, many are skeptical as to the possible survival or reappearance of the extinct carnivore. Only time will tell if these sightings are, in fact, true.
“There are always reports of alleged thylacine sightings. So far, I haven’t seen anything about this one that would make it different than any of the others.” This is according to Gregory Barns, an Emory University Professor.
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