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Thylacine Expedition

Where Light Meets Dark is pleased to announce an expedition in search of the Tasmanian tiger in Tasmania.

A number of trail cameras have been placed in strategic locations for several weeks. I leave tomorrow to check on these, to contribute to the filming of a documentary, and to attempt to piece together a string of details from one of the thylacine's most well-known historical search expeditions.

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In 2007 I made the suggestion that an expedition should be mounted in search of the thylacine, to coincide with the second anniversary of Klaus Emmerichs' sighting of the animal. Although I received some support, there was not enough financial sponsorship to bring the trip to fruition.

In 2008 I was approached by a business investor who claimed to have seen a thylacine in Tasmania in 1982. He was willing to fund an expedition and coincidentally I was approached at the same time by an Australian film production company in respect of producing a documentary. After co-ordinating a number of interested parties, the expedition fell through when the investor backed out. The documentary concept was pitched to a corporate investor who declined to back the project and that too fell through.

Each of these experiences were to sow the seeds, however, for this year's expedition. After discussing the prospect of the thylacine's survival with an overseas production company, the wheels were set in motion.

These past several weeks, a number of trail cameras have been deployed in Tasmania in partnership with the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service. This expedition is meeting three key goals:

1. A documentary is being produced, concerning the search for the thylacine.

2. All fauna data collected by the camera traps will be forwarded to the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service in order to assist in management of the parks involved.

3. The camera deployments are targeted on capturing evidence of the ongoing survival of the thylacine in Tasmania.

More details regarding the documentary will be published in due course, but for the moment I can discuss the second two goals in more detail.

In addition to searching for thylacines, there are at least two critically important species that may be documented by the cameras. These are Tasmanian devils and red foxes.

Tasmanian devils are succumbing to the lethal devil facial tumour disease and some forecasts predict extinction for the species within 15 years. In its advanced stages the disease leaves devils' faces severely disfigured and this evidence should easily be seen in a trail camera photo. Indeed there exists already a dedicated program photographing Tasmanian devils for this reason near Cradle Mountain. Any devil data resulting from our project - whether healthy or otherwise - will be used in the ongoing monitoring of this disease in the wild.

Secondly, there is evidence to suggest the red fox has in recent years been illegally introduced to Tasmania. This species, perhaps more than any other, has been blamed for a large number of extinctions on the mainland. Capturing a photograph of the red fox using a trail camera would be crucial in understanding the distribution of this exotic pest and would also, no doubt, lend support to the prospect of increasing efforts to locate and eradicate this species from Tasmania.

Incidentally, while deploying cameras we located a nest of the Tasmanian subspecies of wedge-tailed eagle, so even before we have any photographs, we already have a positive result for conservation efforts.

Finally, the deployment location of the cameras has been based on historical data relating to the distribution of the thylacine, and also on the distribution of thylacine sightings data. In our research to date we have managed to piece together a number of threads of information relating to one historical search in particular.

Although I won't say more just now, I am excited to see this story come together and look forward to exciting news regarding the thylacine on the near horizon.

My flight leaves tomorrow to return and check on the cameras. Updates will be posted here in due course.

Tasmanian tiger exhibiting its threat yawn

Posted by: admin on 02nd Feb 2009 05:44 PM
Updated by: admin on 02nd Feb 2009 05:44 PM
Expires: 01st Jan 2014 12:00 AM

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Comments - Make a comment
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Posted on: 2009-02-02 22:57:22   By: Vinh
About time your expedition got under way!
Any specific area in Tasmania your going to be shooting in?
Good Luck and bring us back a tiger!

[Reply ]

    Good Luck!
    Posted on: 2009-02-03 13:06:15   By: VogelGreif
      Edited By: rich1608
    On: 2009-02-03 14:45:54
    Best of British luck Chris & let's hope you can finally prove the thylacine is alive & well somewhere out there in Tasmania!


    [Reply ]

Thank you
Posted on: 2009-02-08 22:34:55   By: admin
Thank you for your well wishes. The most intensive part is now complete - cameras have been deployed and will be in operation for a number of months before we recover them.


[Reply ]

    No Subject
    Posted on: 2009-02-21 04:33:16   By: Gecko
    Good luck with the cams. Sounds like a bit of fun really.

    [Reply ]

    Re: Thank you
    Posted on: 2009-02-22 18:54:48   By: Anonymous
    Hi: This is fascinating!! Any news? I am writing to you from Pennsylvania, USA. It is my dream to travel to Tasmania and be able to see a real, live Thylacine. Good luck-I really feel they are out there!

    [Reply ]

Please, let them be!
Posted on: 2009-04-22 17:16:54   By: jbdean
Once news gets back that this fantastic animal has been re-discovered people will flood the area, trap them, kill them, destroy their habitat and more. Let them alone. Whenever man encroaches on the wild animals, no matter how good his intentions, the animals always suffer and thus we, who love the animals suffer too.

[Reply ]

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