Friday, 27 April 2012

14 extinct species rediscovered...could Thylacine be one??

Including the thylacine, Australia has had 27 mammal species go to extinction since 1788 (Wikipedia).  This is atrocious record and the total number of all species gone to extinction in Australia eclipses all other countries, having the highest extinction rate in the world.  All this in 224 years!

There are two forms of extinction.  The first is where a population is below genetic viability and the second where the total number of animals is known to be 0.  Australia is set up to account for these two forms with an extinction in the wild status and then a formal extinction classification.  The use of these status was best illustrated with the extinction of the Thylacine.

The last known specimen died in captivity in Hobart on the 7th of September 1936.  From there it was classified as extinct in the wild.  On the 7th of September 1986 it was declared extinct.  This may be where the "presumably" extinct idea for Thylacine is derived from despite its official extinct status.

Extinct species do get re-discovered, see the article below which gives us 14 reasons to hope for the Thylacine.  Which was brought to my attention by Bryce Pinson from the page 

Australia has several examples of mammal species, that have been rediscovered.  For instance the Gilbert's Potoroo which First discovered in 1840 by naturalist John Gilbert and recorded again only a few times over the next 40 years, this small rat-kangaroo was thought to be extinct since the late 1870s until rediscovered in 1994 at Two Peoples Bay near Albany, on the South Coast of Western Australia.

There are thought to be only 30-40 animals in the wild and 40-50 animals in captivity and is critically endangered and is Australia's rarest Mammal.

Or The Mountain Pygmy Possum was first described as a Pleistocene fossil by Robert Broom in 1896. It was thought to be extinct until 1966, when a living specimen was discovered in a ski-hut on Mount Hotham (Wikipedia)

It is estimated that there are only about 2000 Mountain Pygmy Possums remaining

Or if your concerned, as I was, that something that small could easily go undetected try the Bridled Nail Tailed Wallaby.

The last reported sighting of a Bridled Nail Tailed Wallaby was in 1937. Then, in 1973, the animal was reported on a cattle station near the town of Dingo, Central Queensland by a fencing contractor.  Males are up to 8 kg in size ( not a 32kg Thylacine, granted, but it sets a precedent as a rediscovered medium sized mammal, in Australia.

Or what about an iconic animal like Victoria's state emblem the Lead Beaters Possum's

The possum was discovered in 1867 and was originally known only through five specimens, the last one collected in 1909. From that time on, the fear that it might be extinct gradually grew into near-certainty after the swamps and wetlands in Australia around Bass River in south-west Gippsland were drained for farming in the early 1900s. Then, on 3rd April 1961, a member of the species was rediscovered by naturalist Eric Wilkinson, and the first specimen in more than 50 years was captured later in the month (Wikipedia)

In a recent article in Australian Geographic Dr Diana Fisher was quoted, when questioned about Bridled Nail Tailed Wallabies as saying "I think it might be useful to know that rediscoveries are not random, "If we know which types of species are most likely to be alive but hard to detect we might be able to better target searches for missing species."  She also stated in Australian Geographic that "Many species feared extinct from habitat loss have in fact turned up in a different habitat, because they were more flexible than we realised," says Diana. "Some species can also persist in marginal habitat for some time." (Australian Geographic Magazine)

So despite recent reports of Thylacine having such limited genetic variance that they are 99.5% similar, the persecution of Thylacine as a sheep killer under bounty systems, continued habitat loss, genetic fragmentation of populations through habitat loss, island isolation, genetic bottle necking and a myriad of other issues one would like to have hope that the thylacine like these species could still be hanging on.  Maybe not in genetically viable numbers but hanging on all the same and like these rediscovered species above, managed through programs to ensure their survival!

Lets Hope!


Thursday, 26 April 2012

Thylacine - Col Bailey Sighting in 1995

Published today talks about the great Thylacine Hunter Col Bailey and his convincing sighting of a Thylacine (Tasmanian Tiger) in the Weld Valley on the edge of Tasmania's South West made on an expedition in 1995.  
View Larger Map

The sighting was made within metres of Mr. Bailey in remote bushland and left his speechless from the surreal experience, after the animal appeared for several seconds, during a camping expedition and was pursued into the bracken fern.  Unfortunately Mr. Bailey didn't get any photos or footage of the sighting so can't prove its existence but is convinced through his own experiences since 1967 that they are definitively still out there!

Mr Col Bailey (Left) Photo from

Col Bailey is an iconic thylacine author, cryptozologist and believer!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Breaking News...Another Thylacine Hoax!


I was surfing YouTube the other day and found a new video that I hadn't seen before entitled,

BREAKING NEWS: Tasmanian Tiger Filmed In Central Tasmania 2012

Which of cause, caught my attention.  On first glance something seemed wrong and thinking it seemed too good to be true, surely it wasn't that easy and not again after the dirt bikers film a few months ago.

The fact that the blurb in the description bar said it was filmed with a canon 600d and a Fuji s2000 but the footage was in 2.40:1 cinematic ratio sparked my interest.  I was thinking if I got HD footage from my 600d of a thylacine walking up a snow covered hill,  Im not sure I would be taking it home and messing about in after effects to put the cinematic look "letter boxing" onto such and amazing find.  A quick look at Google said the s2000 was a point and shoot camera not pro gear supported that idea.

BREAKING NEWS: Tasmanian Tiger Filmed In Central Tasmania 2012

YouTube Video 

The second problem was that the video was uploaded on the 22/02/2012 yet had just under 10,000 hits. If this was the Breaking News that proved the existence of a previously thought extinct species that was a little low in my opinion!  The footage was also taken 10 days before and they had managed to sit on such earth shattering discovery for 10 days with no media....and then from 22/2/2012 to 24/4/2012 when I watched it with no international media storm....I think not!

The next thing was a small glitch 0:29 and again at 0:47 (time code) which suggested that this had been rendered or was at the least a recording glitch (See below).  Owning a 600d camera and using it extensively in video mode this footage was also very grainy and pixelated and did not represent the footage I was used to or recording glitches that I knew of from that camera.

Screen Capture from YouTube Video @ 0:47 Showing Digital Glitch and Pixelation

The footage also seemed to be the same pattern of movement played over and over again at different speeds and also zoomed in on a few times by cropping which would explain the high degree of pixelation.  As a ripped copy of a movie or video would already be highly compressed, then heavily cropped to zoom in and then re-compressed as it was uploaded to YouTube.

I copied and pasted the link to to let the T.R.U. team debate the issue while I went to the DVD's.  One of our members Einar Lugnet said they had tried to leave comments on this video suggesting a hoax about 10 times and they had been constantly deleted.  Hmm not looking good so far! 

Having seen "The hunter"  a few times and having the DVD I suspected that this was the CGI from the movie re-edited as a hoax.  A quick spin through the film at high speed turned up exactly that suspicion at  1:30:15 - 1:30:20.....5 seconds of CGI that I think matches the YouTube video perfectly in movement and backdrop.  

Screen Capture from "The Hunter" 1:30:15 - 1:30:20

In conclusion not a bad try but in my mind no doubt a Hoax......again!


Monday, 23 April 2012

Report a sighting from Matthew Squires

Date of sighting?  = 24/03/2012

What was the time of the sighting?  = 2.15pm
How many people made the sighting? = 2

Hey there, me, my dad and mum, were at my mates place in Maribyrnong, Victoria. My mum was on balcony of my mates flat, when my mum started screaming "looks theres a Tasmanian tiger!", i was inside watching TV and i said "mum your going crazy," but she kept on screaming. So me and my dad got up went out onto the balcony and looked down onto the vacant block of land to see nothing. So i said to mum "its probably a dog", ill go take a look, so i put my shoes on and mums saying "dont get too close to it it might bite ya" i kept laughing at her, at this stage i wasn't expecting to see anything, so i didn't take a camera, so I went towards the vacant block then suddenly this animal comes out from the fence, and i was about 10 - 15 metres from it, and i can tell you it looked 100% like a Tasmanian tiger, it was different and wasnt a dog or a fox. its tail was long and stiff it ran different to a dog, and it even had stripes on its back. I swear on my mothers grave it was a tassie tiger , or a dog that looks 100% like a Tasmanian tiger, i was the closest to it, and it looked exactly like in the pictures. So i ran back up got a camera but when i had came back it had gone, i ran around into the scrub land for a hour, across the road from the apartment hoping to find it, but it had gone.

Sighing was made at Pipe Makers Park

It wasn't overly orange had a few shades of gray from memory, but what was different from a dog was its head, its tail which was stiff straight, and its tiger markers on its bum, it looked exactly like a tasmian tiger, as i was only 10 metres away from it. it also had scrawny back legs/hips.

Your probably thinking this could be anything its in a outer suburb of Melbourne, why haven't other people reported anything, i dont know. I think the location is irrelevant, what is relevant is i know what i saw, and yes my mum wasn't crazy , i can back her up. I wouldn't be on this website if i had a slight doubt that it was a mangy dog or fox. I saw what i saw and yes i strongly believe it was a tassie tiger.

Report a sighting from Alex D..

I was working as a Discovery Ranger on the Spirit of Tasmania III between Devonport and Sydney in 2008, walking about with a stuffed fox under my arm, and a guy asked me what I was doing with a fox. I explained about the threat of foxes to the Tasmanian ecosystems and he said "I'm a bit worried about fox baiting up where I live"- I asked him where that was, and he said "Near Torrington in NSW". I asked him what the problem was, and he said there were some "special animals" that he thought might take the bait. "What, like quolls?" I asked, and he became a little furtive and said "Sort of." I began explaining about 1080 being the best fox bait because most native animals had some resistance to it, as it occurred naturally in the environment in the vegetation, and explained that when it was buried and widely spaced, the chances of quolls getting a lethal dose were much reduced. He said "It's not just quolls." I asked him what other animals he was concerned about and he went a bit quiet for a while, looking at the bottle of Cascade light in his hand. Finally he seemed to come to a decision and said: "I guess it doesn't matter so much now, 'cause I don't own the property anymore." and he put his finger on the picture of the thylacine. "This picture doesn't show their legs- they are way more muscular than this". He proceeded to tell me about how he and his wife owned a property at the edge of a deep gorge in the Torrington area where they had a deer farm. They went spotlighting one night and saw Three thylacines- two adults and a juvenile, they followed them for a while, the juvenile mostly hidden by long grass, but the large adult jumped onto a rock to look at them, and from an estimated 10 metres stood in the full beam of the spotlight, looked at them and yawned. "Its bottom jaw was on its chest." the guy told me "and they have such weird arses." (he mentioned their weird arses a few times). The other adult and the juvenile went off into the gully while the big one just stared at them for "half a minute" before bounding off and following them into the gully. The property was called "Whynot" near Silent Grove and the sighting was about two and a half years before he was talking to me- about 2005. "There could be anything in that gully." he said. I have heard other stories from the eastern side of the great divide in northern NSW from old timers, (usually second hand), and a first hand story from the snowy mountains in NSW where a Thylacine was seen eating a rabbit on the side of the road in about 1985, and another story from the early sixties near Byron Bay- two blokes travelling together came to Kakadu and told me about a woman in Byron who had been hounded out of town for claiming to have seen a Thylacine, (including by the storytellers) but then they saw it too, and felt really bad. They also didn't tell any locals because they didn't want to be tarred with the same brush.

Thylacine Colouration!

A new T.R.U. video exploring the colouration of the thylacine can be found under the "experiments & analysis" link or

Anne's Sighting!

A new video From T.R.U. looking at a fascinating sighting made by a 9 year old girl from no more than 10 m away at Hampshire Mill in North Western Tasmania. Check it out of our FB page or on the Sighting Recreations Page on the T.R.U. website.

Thylacine Research Unit - T.R.U.

Is a committed group of scientists, naturalists and specialists from diverse backgrounds. The researchers who compose the T.R.U. are engaged in field and laboratory investigations, designed to address various aspects of 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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