Tiger lives but is on the brink |Richard_F|richard@cfz.org.uk|11/16/04 at 02:46:48|richard_f|xx|0||
Tiger lives but is on the brink

14 November 2004

The Tasmanian tiger survives, says an anonymous author. Michael Lowe reports. UP TO 200 Tasmanian tigers survive in three colonies across the State, according to new research on the controversial species.

Tasmanian tigers, also called thylacines, were declared extinct in 1986 but that has not stopped a stream of sightings and claims of evidence.

A Tasmanian thylacine researcher, who calls himself the Tigerman, has just published an 80-page book on the Internet where he presents his case that the species exists.

The Tigerman, who is based in rural Tasmania, uses a pseudonym because he says revealing his identity would make his work harder.

In his book - called Magnificent Survivor, Continued Existence of the Tasmanian Tiger - he presents photographs of what he claims are thylacine footprints and possible lairs, tracks, scats and prey kills.

He discusses his two claimed thylacine sightings and theorises on the population, behaviour and psychology of the species, based on his six years of searching.

He says three population groups exist in Tasmania - in the North-East forests, the North-West and the South West World Heritage Area.

"I believe if thylacine numbers in each of these three divisions were any higher, then the animals would not be able to remain hidden within the available habitats of each," he says in the book.

"If the numbers were any lower then it is unlikely the species would have been able to sustain itself to date."

The South-West is defined as the area Strahan to Roseberry, the South West World Heritage Area and eastern perimeter.

The terrain is thickly vegetated and he says this is not ideal for thylacines, which prefer a mix of open country and forest.

But it is undisturbed and is a stronghold for th e species.


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