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CFZ-Thylacine Update

Posted by: Nick Redfern on November 12th, 2013

CFZ Oz

This just in from the Center for Fortean Zoology’s Richard Freeman, in an email to CFZ Director Jon Downes on the current developments in their search for surviving thylacines in Tasmania:

“Hi mate,

“THIS IS THE FIRST OPPORTUNITY I HAVE GOT TO E-MAIL.

“We are in a very remote area. Baiting camera traps has shown up a healthy population of Tasmanian devils. No thylacines yet. Have seen devils, pademelons, Bennett’s wallabies, wombats, echidnas, potoroos, ring tailed and bush tailed possums, tiger snakes, cockatoos, wedge tailed eagles, native hens and many others.

“Interviewed thylacine witnesses, one was a government licensed shooter who controls wallaby numbers. He saw the animal twice, he also knew a forestry worker who saw one. All these were in the north-east. The owner of a tea rooms and garden saw one in central Tasmania. Many more sightings uncovered by Tony Healy ranging from 1982 to 2012.

“The terrain is very wild and the human population near non-existent. I am in no doubt of the thylacine’s continued survival.

“Talking to a guide recently who has heard the vocalizations, a high pitched yip-yip-yip. Even the once hard boiled sceptic Nick Mooney is coming around to realizing that something is here. Already planning next year’s expedition. Sightings mainly in north-east and north-west but massive wilderness area with no roads or people in the south-west. Prey populations are huge, plenty of living space.

“Still hope to see a tazzy wolf. Rich”

Nick Redfern About Nick Redfern
Punk music fan, Tennents Super and Carlsberg Special Brew beer fan, horror film fan, chocolate fan, like to wear black clothes, like to stay up late. Work as a writer.


13 Responses to “CFZ-Thylacine Update”

  1. Goodfoot responds:

    Can’t wait to see their first Thylacine photo!

  2. Hapa responds:

    This shows one of the biggest ironies in dealing with some cryptids: while sightings abound, good photographic evidence is at times scarce. The fact that no Thylacine has been captured on camera traps is a big problem, especially with all other native Tasmanian wildlife showing up on them. It does not however mean that the Thylacine is indeed extinct. I would think that numerous consecutive trips into the bush, with (ideally) hundreds of camera traps being used per expedition (multiple ones through the year at the most), over several, if not well over ten years, all through each year, without results, would convince me that they don’t exist anymore. I hope this downside of the search changes, and changes soon.

    I wonder if this Nick Mooney, this Thylacine skeptic, is part of the expedition. If so, and since he is reportedly coming around to the possibility of the Thylacine’s survival, this would be very indicative that they have already found some very good evidence besides camera traps. Intriguing.

    Lets hope and pray that this expedition is an ultimate success!

  3. Goodfoot responds:

    “The fact that no Thylacine has been captured on camera traps is a big problem,”

    “Big problem”? What, do you have two months to live? Just how impatient ARE you? Cryptozoology is NO place for the impatient; maybe you should be in software development instead.
    Or maybe you should re-schedule the wedding for this weekend; you never know when there’ll be no more weddings.

  4. Hapa responds:

    Goodfoot:

    No need to get sarcastic. I wrote later in my post that having no Thylacine on camera trap film yet does not disprove its existence. What I’m saying is that the results so far are not good: this is not like hunting for Sasquatch, which is said to be uncannily elusive (wild primates can hide themselves exceptionally well) and thus the lack of good trap camera footage can be thus explained away; this is a Thylacine, a known animal which should not be anywhere near as intelligent (smaller brain than a Dingo) and elusive as bigfoot, i.e. It should be far more easily picked up by camera trap. The fact that multiple known wild animals of Tasmania are beign picked up, but no Thylacine yet, is indeed a considerable problem, but it is not a problem that cannot be fixed by multiple camera trap expeditions (if you keep going back, year after year, with tons of those camera trap bad boys, and assuming the Thylacine still exists, it will be photographed, and photographed clearly).

    Impatient? This expedition is going on as we speak. The possibility of this animal being discovered any day is exciting. I am impatient for the results, because I want to know what they have found. It will be a mind blower to have proof of existant Thylacines in the world, and I would be so glad to see this happen.

    Patience, Smatience, I want my Thylacine!

  5. DWA responds:

    I am becoming increasingly convinced that “extinct” is a call we tend to make when it simply becomes difficult to see one.

    Extant thylacines would be to me no more surprising than confirmed Eastern cougar along much of their “former” range. I think we may find out we were wrong – again – on this one.

  6. Goodfoot responds:

    Sarcastic? Yeah, that’s me. It’s one of the most useful tools out there. I make no apologies for it.

  7. Lesley Cox responds:

    @ DWA.
    Quite right. Extinct can sometimes mean ‘haven’t see on for a long time’. Just look up information on the Coelacanth. Lazarus Taxa is the name for beasties that suddenly turn up after being declared extinct.

  8. corrick responds:

    Sorry but intensive searches for the thylacine in Tasmania have gone on for decades and decades. With zero results.
    Even more so than bigfoot, it has been the most intensively searched for animal in the last 50 years.

    Searches conducted by thylacine experts like Dr. Eric Guiler, hundreds of Taswmanian “amateurs” as well as an expedition by Sir Edmund Hillary and one sponsored by the Disney Company and two by Ted Turner! Again zero.

    Because marsupials are largely nocturnal and not too bright when compared to placentals, roadkill in Tasmania is astronomical compared to the USA. Again, zero dead thylacines. Just to compare in Florida which is over twice the size of Tasmania, there are about 3-5 documented Florida panther roadkills every year. And the population of them is estimated at no more than 150.

    Nick Mooney does however have some credibility. Would be interesting to read his actual quotes rather than soundbytes though.

    Understand, I wish them all well Not holding my breath though. Sometimes extinction really is forever.

  9. Goodfoot responds:

    DWA: I remember the Age of Cougar Denial very well indeed. You would have been hard-pressed to find a Fish and Game, or any other wildlife officer, who didn’t espouse the company line – that Cougars were no longer to be found in their original eastern range – in the seventies, even eighties.

    Meanwhile, one could hear story upon story of people seeing them. Their numbers doubtless became greatly diminished, for various reasons, but they never really went away. Just about everyone now knows they’ve been here all along.

  10. Goodfoot responds:

    “Lazarus taxa”. Wow, thanks. Never heard that.

  11. Goodfoot responds:

    Does Tasmania have the concentration of roads that Florida does? Just because no one has found the needle in the haystack does not mean the needle does not exist.

    Just a thought.

  12. Lesley Cox responds:

    @ Goodfoot.

    If you like Lazarus taxa – check out the Elvis taxa. Those are ‘lookalikes’ – usually as a part of convergent evolution.

  13. Goodfoot responds:

    Thanks, I’ll do it.



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