Australia's Tasmanian Tiger killed by man, study says

Jan 31, 2013
A Tasmanian tiger (Thylacine) is displayed at the Australian Museum in Sydney, 25 May 2002. Australian researchers investigating the extinction of the country's Tasmanian Tiger put the fault solely with humans Thursday, saying they had debunked a long-held theory that disease was to blame. The last known tiger died in Hobart Zoo in September 1936.

Australian researchers investigating the extinction of the country's Tasmanian Tiger put the fault solely with humans Thursday, saying they had debunked a long-held theory that disease was to blame.

The last known tiger, or thylacine, died in Hobart Zoo in September 1936 and though there have been numerous unconfirmed sightings in the wild over the years since, it was officially declared extinct in 1986.

When European settlers arrived in the southern island state of Tasmania in 1803 the thylacine—a shy, carnivorous marsupial which resembled a long, large dog with a striped coat and wolflike head—was widespread.

Their final extinction has long been linked to a distemper-like disease that tore through the last remaining tigers, but a University of Adelaide team said it had proven that disease was not a central cause.

"Many people believe that bounty hunting alone could not have driven the thylacine extinct and therefore claim that an unknown disease epidemic must have been responsible," said Thomas Prowse, lead researcher of the study published in the latest edition of the .

"We found we could simulate the thylacine extinction, including the observed rapid population crash after 1905, without the need to invoke a mystery disease."

Prowse's team used new species interaction modelling to study how the arrival of European sheep farmers had impacted on the thylacine in a range of ways including bounty hunting between 1830-1909.

"Importantly, we also considered the indirect effects of a reduction in the thylacine's prey—kangaroos and wallabies—due to human harvesting and competition from millions of introduced sheep," Prowse said.

"We showed that the negative impacts of European settlement were powerful enough that, even without any disease epidemic, the species couldn't escape extinction."

The was once widely distributed across Australia and , and the native , or , is thought to have contributed to its demise outside of Tasmania.

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More information: Paper: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1365-2656.12029/abstract

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Sinister1811
2.5 / 5 (8) Jan 31, 2013
Not surprising. But very unfortunate. The canine resemblance is the product of convergent evolution. This is the last remaining footage of one in captivity:
https://www.youtu...CCI1ZF7o

That's why it's important to protect remaining species from habitat loss and successfully controlling feral/introduced species such as cats, rabbits and foxes.
maxb500_live_nl
1.4 / 5 (10) Jan 31, 2013
AH. Blame the European Explorers and Settlers. The Europeans killed the Indians and claimed their land for founded cities everywhere. The European deceases killed of the Inca Empire. The Europeans killed the Woolly mammoth. The Europeans killed of the Dodo. The Europeans killed of the Tasmanian tiger.

Pfff. If it wasn`t for these explorers and settlers Australia and it`s cities would not exist. Neither would Canada, Brazil, Mexico, New-Zealand, Argentine, Chili, The United States, etc, etc. Non of them would have been founded and non of their cities. No white people would even live there or have ever been born there.

The world except for Europe and parts of Asia would be no further developed and Inca`s would likely still be performing rituals like sacrificing woman to their gods. The indians would still be hunting the Buffalo.
alfie_null
5 / 5 (2) Jan 31, 2013
Regarding European expansion, cities and countries not being founded - so what? Things would be different. Having European ancestry, I'm glad I exist, but if I didn't, I wouldn't care.
As a thought experiment, if I were of some indigenous population (e.g., Americans, Australians), I might have a different view regarding being assimilated - probably depends on how well off I was. Generally speaking, how well off are indigenous people who have been assimilated into another culture?

FWIW, the Inca Empire would have likely crashed and burned by today. The Inca Empire only existed for a bit more than 100 years - not that long.
Shootist
1.4 / 5 (5) Jan 31, 2013
Not surprising. But very unfortunate. The canine resemblance is the product of convergent evolution. This is the last remaining footage of one in captivity:
https://www.youtu...CCI1ZF7o

That's why it's important to protect remaining species from habitat loss and successfully controlling feral/introduced species such as cats, rabbits and foxes.


Why's that again?

It gets to stupid pretty quickly. Like here in Florida where there might be 60 panthers (a mountain lion what moved to Florida in the long long ago) in an area the size of Massachusetts. Too few. Too much money. No known benefit.

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