Thylacinus cynocephalus 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Dasyuromorphia Thylacinidae

Scientific Name: Thylacinus cynocephalus
Species Authority: (Harris, 1808)
Common Name(s):
English Thylacine, Tasmanian Tiger, Tasmanian Wolf
French Loup marsupial
Spanish Lobo de Tasamania, Lobo Marsupial

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Extinct ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): McKnight, M.
Reviewer(s): Lamoreux, J. & Hilton-Taylor, C. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Listed as Extinct. The last confirmed record of a wild individual is from 1933; it was captured and taken to Hobart Zoo where it died in 1936. Numerous sightings since that time have not been confirmed and several organized searches for the animal have failed to find conclusive evidence of the species' existence.
Previously published Red List assessments:
1996 Extinct (EX)
1994 Extinct (Ex)
1990 Extinct (Ex)
1988 Extinct (Ex)
1986 Extinct (Ex)
1982 Extinct (Ex)
1965 Very rare and believed to be decreasing in numbers

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Thylacinus cynocephalus was endemic to Australia. Mainland populations are thought to have disappeared following the introduction of domestic dogs by Aboriginal human populations several thousand years ago (though there is the possibility that it survived until much more recently on the mainland) (Mooney and Rounsevell 2008). This restricted the Thylacine to the island of Tasmania. The last definite record of a wild individual is from 1933; it was captured and taken to Hobart Zoo where it died in 1936 (Mooney and Rounsevell 2008). Since then several surveys have been undertaken, however, no conclusive evidence of the existence of wild Thylacines has been found, despite numerous unconfirmed sightings.
Countries occurrence:
Regionally extinct:
Australia (Tasmania)
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:The preferred habitat of the species probably was open forest or grassland, however, the last populations may have occupied the less accessible, dense rainforest areas of south-western Tasmania.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The Thylacine was regarded as a threat to sheep and was hunted, trapped, and poisoned both for private and government bounties. In addition to these hunting pressures, habitat modification, increased competition from domestic dogs and disease may have all contributed to the demise of this species (Mooney and Rounsevell 2008).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: In 1936, the Thylacine received legal protection under Tasmanian law, although it was likely 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.
It is listed on CITES Appendix I.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
suitability: Suitable  
1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability: Marginal  
4. Grassland -> 4.4. Grassland - Temperate
suitability: Suitable  

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.3. Persecution/control
♦ timing: Past, Unlikely to Return    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

Bibliography [top]

Mooney, N. and Rounsevell, D. E. 2008. Thylacine, Thylacinus cynocephalus. In: S. Van Dyck and R. Strahan (eds), The mammals of Australia. Third Edition, pp. 167-168. Reed New Holland, Sydney, Australia.

Paddle, R. N. 1993. Thylacines associated with the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales. Australian Zoology 29: 97-101.

Citation: McKnight, M. 2008. Thylacinus cynocephalus. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T21866A9332383. . Downloaded on 28 November 2015.
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