Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Fall of the Tasmanian Tiger

       Hunted to extinction in the late 1800s-early 1900s, a genocide of the Tasmanian Tiger was taken in effect because they were supposedly killing sheep (although there is evidence that they were incapable due to insufficient jaw size, but that is a matter for another potential blog post). That to me is more conclusive and realistic evidence of an extinction rather than “they all just got sick and died”, now how often does that really happen? After billions of years, you would think evolution would not allow such a thing to happen at least in such a short period of time. Survival of the fit means survival of the fit, so as a result of such an outbreak there has to be some survivors so they can pass their genes along and allow their offspring to live their life without dying from a disease, and can continue to thrive as they would. I would say Man is the true factor of extinction in these poor thylacines.

       It all started when imperialists sailed in on their fancy boats with their fancy guns and mustaches. Dollar signs in their eyes once they hit the island of Tasmania, or maybe a place to put their sheep? Cutting down the native landscape, siphoning out any resources they can find, and depleting the small mammal and marsupial populations (the primary diet of the Tiger, which also contributed to it's demise). So I'll leave it up to you to decide what you think really killed off this cute and cuddly little guy for all eternity. A microbe, or rich guys with guns. I may just be a pessimist and loathe human kind for what it's done, but I do believe that humans are the ones who inevitably pushed these creatures off the cliff of existence and into a realm of fantasy that can only be accessed through our own conscious minds.

     I've become quite fascinated by the Tasmanian tiger, and I certainly hope that my fellow comrades feel the same as I. I appreciate the fact that a carnivorous hunter could sustain itself on an island. Carnivores require vast amounts of land to successfully hunt, but the style of hunting is not the way we imagine like on the vast African savannas. It's predation on a smaller scale, they were once the top predator, filling their niche quite nicely until they were bombarded. It's a shame that we will never see one alive, but they will live on in our hearts. Some say that there are still Tasmanian Tigers alive and well roaming the island, but let's be honest, it's not a very big place, if there were any left somebody would have found (or captured) a specimen, dead or alive, by now. It is safe to say that they are most definitely extinct, and have been since 1936. 

Posted by Alicia Champagne (1)


  1. It is always so sad to learn of the demise of animal species by the hands of humans!

  2. While sad, it certainly isn't the first example of animals driven to extinction by humans. Other cool species such as the Great Auk and Steller's Sea Cow have also been killed in short order by humans. I wouldn't hate all of human kind over the actions of individuals or groups through time, especially when a lot of time they were just trying to survive themselves. If you are going to hate people, at least hate them for what they do to other humans.

    Michael Ball (1)

  3. There are two ways to approach this issue. One, we can not hate human kind for killing certain species to survive or two, we can hate human kind for killing certain species which we could have survived through with alternate approaches. If we assume that we were killing the Tasmanian Tiger to survive, that would be a false statement because we are capable of living without the sheep that were otherwise allegedly being killed. Therefore, we as humans are guilty of causing the extinction of the Tasmanian Tiger without reason besides that of economical interest.

    Posted by Marshall Moini