Extinct Tassie tiger cut from wildlife protection list

March 7, 2013
A stuffed Tasmanian tiger is displayed in Melbourne on May 25, 2002. A ban on the international trade of the Tasmanian tiger, the buff-nosed kangaroo rat and the pig-footed bandicoot was lifted—because the species have been extinct for decades.

A ban on the international trade of the Tasmanian tiger, the buff-nosed kangaroo rat and the pig-footed bandicoot was lifted Thursday—because the species have been extinct for decades.

The 178 member countries of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered (CITES) meeting in Bangkok agreed to remove six Australian species from Appendix I, which bans their international trade.

Among them is the , a dog-like marsupial named for its striped back, that was driven to extinction by farmers protecting their sheep.

The last known specimen died in a Hobart zoo in 1936 and the species was declared extinct by the International Union for the in 1982.

However, as a precaution it was included on Appendix I of CITES which came into force in 1975, joining colourfully-named species such as the crescent nailtail wallaby and the lesser rabbit-eared bandicoot.

As for the dusky , it probably never even existed and only a single apparent specimen was collected in the nineteenth century.

Other extinct species included on CITES protection lists will be reviewed by the end of the conference on March 14, including the Guadalupe Caracara from Mexico and the New Zealand laughing owl.

"It is terribly sad," said Colman O'Criodain of WWF, noting that the Australian extinctions had nothing to do with an international trade.

"It reflects what happened to the Australian ecosystem when Europeans arrived on the continent," he said, referring to the introduction of non-native species such as cats and foxes which slashed the number of some indigenous creatures.

"Australia has an unfortunate history of high levels of extinction particularly of ," said Deb Callister, head of the Australian delegation to CITES.

Two frogs which raised their young in their mouths are also on the list, Callister added, but have not been found in Australia since the 1980s.

"Australia is not proud of our record, it is a legacy issue that we've learned from and we try now to put in place recovery plans and other actions for those species that are threatened."

Among those is the Tasmanian devil, a threatened by a contagious facial cancer which has decimated 90 percent of the population. The rest may prove impossible to save.

This is one of the first times that CITES has withdrawn from its list, which comprises some 35,000 protected species.

"There's probably going to be some more," said David Morgan, the convention's chief scientist who has launched a review of its lists.

Explore further: Australia's Tasmanian Tiger killed by man, study says

Related Stories

Australia's Tasmanian Tiger killed by man, study says

January 31, 2013

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.

Tasmanian Tiger Extinction Mystery

June 27, 2007

A University of Adelaide project led by zoologist Dr Jeremy Austin is investigating whether the world-fabled Tasmanian Tiger may have survived beyond its reported extinction in the late 1930s.

Heat on Thailand as wildlife conference starts

March 2, 2013

Global conservationists will converge in Bangkok for the start of key endangered species talks on Sunday, as host Thailand faces pressure to curb rampant ivory smuggling through its territory.

Recommended for you

Genome of American cockroach sequenced for the first time

March 23, 2018

A team of researchers with South China Normal University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences has for the first time sequenced the genome of the American cockroach. In their paper published in the journal Nature Communications, ...

New innovations in cell-free biotechnology

March 23, 2018

A Northwestern University-led team has developed a new way to manufacture proteins outside of a cell that could have important implications in therapeutics and biomaterials.

Study tracks protein's role in stem cell function

March 23, 2018

MCL-1 is a member of the BCL-2 family of proteins important for blocking apoptosis, or programmed cell death. Many types of cancer cells escape the body's effort to kill them by overexpressing MCL-1.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.