Four new sighting of the Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacine) have been reported in the last three months (2006) on the outskirts of Portland, Southern Australia. These along with the recent discovery of rock paintings in Western Australia depicting what appears to be several thylacines, suggest the Tasmanian Tiger used to roam across most of mainland Australia, and poses the question of whether the Tasmanian tiger is really extinct!
Cryptoword would love to hear from anybody who thinks they have seen a Thylacine in the last 12 months, or believes they know where they can been found, as we are thinking of planning an expedition to Australia and Tasmania next year, and would like to spend some time searching for the Tasmanian Tiger. Contact Cryptoworld.
Tasmanian tiger ‘sightings’
TASMANIAN tigers are said to be roaming the outskirts of Portland.
Four sightings of one of the world’s most fabled creatures have been reported to an independent researcher in the past three months.
The last sighting was in early May by a Portland resident, Anthony Ersello, who said yesterday he saw the strange dog-like animal sitting in the middle of the Princes Highway on the outskirts of town near the Shell service station.
“I’d been walking home from a party, had one beer and was walking home when I saw it on the road sitting in the middle of the intersection. It kept staring into the distance and then looked at me,” Mr Ersello said.
The animal had a pointed face, chunky shoulders, stripes and its hind was long and lean.
“I wanted to take a photo with my phone but it had been raining and the wet road made a reflection. I got to about 15 metres then it ran into the bushes.”
“I didn’t know what it was. It looked like a bit of a dog but it didn’t really look like one.”
Another Portland resident, who did not want to be identified, reported two separate thylacine sightings in the past year and believed the tigers regularly crossed farms and pups had been spotted.
The sightings have excited researcher Michael Moss, who is preparing to visit Portland with two infra-red cameras in an attempt to capture the creatures on film.
Mr Moss, who has researched thylacines for a decade, said it was possible the animals had originated from thylacines released into Gippsland early last century.
He said a 1912 management report for Wilsons Promontory suggested the introduction of the tigers, along with other native animals.
However no documentation confirms the animals were released despite the first sightings reported in Gippsland in 1915.
With a spate of sightings in Nelson and Portland’s latest claim to fame, Mr Moss said it was possible the introduced species may have moved west.
The Portland sightings are across a two to three kilometre area and Mr Moss said records showed it was not unusual for the animals to come to a town’s edge.Source: Tasmanian tiger `sightings (Warrnambool Standard)
Tassie tiger art on rocks in ruckus
NEW evidence that Tasmanian tigers once roamed Australia’s mainland has come to light in the world’s largest concentration of rock art, adding weight to calls for its legislative protection.
Twelve rock carvings of the extinct thylacine have been found on the Burrup peninsula, a rugged 20km-long expanse on the northwest Pilbara coast of Western Australia.
The discoveries by archaeologist Ken Mulvaney, some made as recently as last month, double the number of thylacine images found among ancient Aboriginal rock carvings scattered across 2000 Burrup sites. As many as 300,000 individual drawings, featuring animal and human figures, have been etched into boulders.
The Australian revealed on Thursday that the state Government had lodged strong opposition to proposed National Heritage listing to protect the rock art. It had cited “grave consequences” for Australia’s largest resource project, the North West Shelf LNG plant, and other projects on the peninsula.
But Mr Mulvaney, who is also president of the Australian Rock Art Research Association, said the rock art needed urgent legal protection from industrial expansion and acid rain that was eroding rock surfaces.
“You cannot say any of the art is safe, and we don’t know what other carvings are out there because no survey has been done in areas earmarked by the WA Government for industrial estates,” he said.
Mr Mulvaney said it was cultural vandalism to continue promoting industry in an area where the world’s greatest rock art had been created over a 20,000-year period.
“The Burrup continues to reveal highly significant petroglyphs, both in a scientific and aesthetic sense,” he said.
A spokesman for federal Heritage Minister Ian Campbell, who was overseas, said the minister would “take all views into account” before making his decision in September on Burrup’s listing.
The Tasmanian tiger is believed to have roamed widely across Australia up until about 3000 years ago. Around that time – perhaps because of the arrival of the dingo – it disappeared from the mainland, surviving only in dingo-free Tasmania until the last thylacine died in 1936 in Hobart Zoo.
Professor Iain Davidson, head of the University of New England’s archeology department, said Mr Mulvaney’s discoveries were important evidence that thylacines lived on the mainland and that Aborigines interacted with them.
But saving it did not mean industry had to leave the Burrup. “The best way to protect heritage is to work with industry and government to make sure they understand how important it is,” he said, adding that a recent decision by LNG partner Woodside to audit the heritage assets on its Burrup sites was “a good start”.
Source: Tassie tiger art on rocks in ruckus (The Australian)
Naturalworlds.org – thylacine