Thylacinus cynocephalus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Dasyuromorphia Thylacinidae

Scientific Name: Thylacinus cynocephalus (Harris, 1808)
Common Name(s):
English Thylacine, Tasmanian Tiger, Tasmanian Wolf
French Loup marsupial
Spanish Lobo de Tasamania, Lobo Marsupial
Didelphis cynocephala Harris, 1808
Taxonomic Notes: No subspecies are recognised.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Extinct ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2012-12-31
Assessor(s): Burbidge, A.A. & Woinarski, J.
Reviewer(s): Johnson, C.N. & Hawkins, C.
Contributor(s): Andrew, D., Jones, M., Mooney, N. & Rounsevell, D.
The last known Thylacine died in Hobart Zoo in 1936. Despite numerous, including contemporary, reports of its existence, and several organised searches (e.g. Smith 1980; see SEWPaC 2012), there has been no irrefutable evidence of its survival.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

The Thylacine was once found in New Guinea and was widespread on the Australian mainland, but disappeared from the latter by at least 2000 years ago, probably because of predation by and competition from the Dingo Canis lupus (Johnson 2006). In modern times it was known only from Tasmania, which was isolated from the Australian mainland c. 8000 – 10 000 years ago, before the arrival of the Dingo on the mainland. It was widespread in Tasmania, but most abundant in open forest and woodland (Guiler 1985; Paddle 2000). It occurred in most habitat types from low (east) to high (north-west) rainfall but at low densities in the south-west where rainfall is very high, soil fertility is very low, and vegetation is hummock grassland (button grass), wet scrub, or wet forest.

Countries occurrence:
Regionally extinct:
Australia (Tasmania)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:0
Number of Locations:0
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is presumed to be extinct.
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Thylacines occurred in most habitats in Tasmania, but apparently not the dense temperate rainforests of the south-west (Flannery and Schouten 2001). The Thylacine apparently located its prey by scent and hunted mainly at night, singly or in pairs. Its main food items were reported to be kangaroos and wallabies. Lairs were often located among rocks but litters were discovered amongst dense vegetation.
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There was extensive persecution of the Thylacine because of perceived threat to sheep and fear of a large predator (Mooney and Rounsevell 2008); in latter years collecting by museums and zoos was a major reason for hunting; single-species ‘population viability analysis’ models are unable to account for the Thylacine’s demise unless a high human harvest, small starting population size or low maximum population growth rate was assumed, even if disease effects were included from 1906 to 1909, however, the Thylacine's demise is readily recreated using the disease-free multi-species metamodels that simulated declines in native prey populations (particularly due to competition with introduced sheep) (Prowse et al. 2013).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: In 1936, the Thylacine received legal protection under Tasmanian law, although it was probably already extinct (Mooney and Rounsevell 2008). In 1966, a 647,000 ha game reserve was set up in south-western Tasmania, partly to protect any animals possibly remaining in the area. Currently there are no conservation measures pertaining to this species as it is presumed extinct. It is listed on CITES Appendix I.

Citation: Burbidge, A.A. & Woinarski, J. 2016. Thylacinus cynocephalus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T21866A21949291. . Downloaded on 18 September 2018.
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