From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Tasmanian Tiger
Mains level : NA
- Several mentions of sightings of the ‘extinct’ Tasmanian Tiger are being reported these days.
- The Tasmanian tiger or thylacine (a dog headed pouched dog) was an exclusively carnivorous marsupial that is considered to be extinct.
- It has resemblance to a dog, with its distinguishing features being the dark stripes beginning at the rear of its body and extending into its tail, its stiff tail and abdominal pouch.
- The last known thylacine died in captivity over 80 years ago, in Tasmania’s Hobart Zoo in 1936.
- It may also be the only mammal to have become extinct in Tasmania since the European settlement.
Why did they become extinct?
- It was confined to Tasmania in recent times and disappeared from mainland Australia over 2000 years ago, mainly because of over-hunting by humans, diseases and competition from the Dingo (Canis lupus), a wild dog native to Australia.
- The Thylacine was also persecuted because it was believed to be a threat to sheep and in its latter years it was hunted for the purposes of collection by museums and zoos.
- As per some accounts, the introduction of sheep in 1824 led to a conflict between the settlers and thylacine.