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HISTORY:
- EXPEDITIONS AND SEARCHES -
(page 13)
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Expeditions and Searches - 1937 to Present-Day

Wright (1984):

    In January 1984, Peter Wright announced that he planned to make a search of the Western Tiers near Mole Creek, where he owned a Wildlife Park.  The private search was well funded, with an AU$250,000 budget.  A base camp was constructed near Lake Adelaide, where there had been both historical and recent sightings.  Sophisticated field cameras were employed designed to transmit information back to the base camp.  Unfortunately, the cameras failed due to inadequate testing in the field.  In August 1984, the search was scaled down prior to being terminated later that year.

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    In an interview in the Mercury newspaper of the 26th October 1984, Wright claimed to have collected droppings, and that these were being independently analysed at a Sydney laboratory, but
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cast of a possible thylacine hind track - (cast - Tigerman / image - C. Campbell)
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A plaster cast of a possible thylacine hind track taken in 2003 by Tigerman, author of the online publication Magnificent Survivor - Continued Existence of the Tasmanian Tiger.  The total length of the cast is 18 cm (7 in.).  Compare it to illustrations of the thylacine's hind foot (pes) drawn by R. Pocock in 1926.
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would not reveal its name.  He also claimed to have taken photographs of footprints which he initially stated were "definitely those of a tiger" but later changed his mind, saying that they were "probably those of a tiger".  No report into the Wright expedition's findings was ever produced.

"Tigerman" (2002):

    In May 2002, whilst on a field trip to Tasmania, a young environmental scientist sighted a juvenile thylacine, followed the next day by an adult.  These sightings instigated what was to become a major search effort resulting in the publication of a free online book entitled "Magnificent Survivor - Continued Existence of the Tasmanian Tiger".

    This subsection of the Thylacine Museum has concentrated on the major searches for the thylacine, but over the years there have been numerous smaller investigations of specific sightings.  Along with Eric Guiler, one man in particular has been responsible for more investigations into localised sightings than any other, and that is the well-known author and researcher Col Bailey.  Bailey has spent over thirty years investigating thylacine sightings in Tasmania, and is widely acknowledged by his peers to be amongst the most experienced of present-day field researchers.

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    It is appropriate to conclude this subsection with the words of Eric Guiler (1998):

    "The question remains as to what, if anything, has been achieved by these searches and expeditions.  Some were of short duration, lasting only a few days, others extended for weeks, even years.  All failed to produce final irrefutable evidence of the existence of the Tasmanian tiger.  It is abundantly clear that there is little point in plunging head first into the investigation of new sightings reports, in which the identification of the animal may be incorrect and thus time and money wasted.  Even when a Tasmanian tiger has been sighted, no evidence has been found to prove that the

animal remained in the area.  Mooney's efforts at Togari after the Naarding sighting clearly point to the likelihood that the animal was only passing through.  Long term searches using photographic methods have proven equally fruitless, suggesting that an animal never returned to the spot where it had been seen.  The conclusion that the thylacine is an elusive animal is disconcertingly obvious, especially in view of the fact that not a single specimen was photographed in all the years that automatic cameras were in position.  It may well be that the species had learned to avoid human contact, but the sad fact is that so little is known about thylacine habits that one cannot even be photographed, let alone caught". .
thylacine sculpture, Launceston Library - image  Nicholas Ayliffe
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A bronze sculpture of a family group of thylacines at the city library of Launceston, Tasmania.
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References
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back to: Expeditions and Searches (page 12) return to the section's introduction forward to: Extinction vs. Survival  (page 1)


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