The Recently Extinct Plants and Animals Database

Thylacine Expeditions and Searches (1937-present)

In the aftermath of the death of the last known captive thylacine, not long after official "protection", several expeditions were mounted in 1937 and 1938. They collected many reports, but little if any physical evidence of the species' survival. Sadly WWII intervened, and the next major expedition was that of David Fleay in the summer of 1945-46. One wonders what wartime searches might have uncovered. Unfortunately probably nothing, since the abatement of previous pressures on the species should have helped it to bounce back if it was still viable. The fact that we still haven't heard their (supposedly) coughing bark in more than 80 years is good evidence that it is now extinct in Tasmania. Although we can all hold out hope that its stripes provide better camouflage than we realise.

Further afield, although only known prehistorically from both the mainland and New Guinea, modern reports have been consistent and numerous enough that expeditions have been mounted there too. Although it is safe to say that they have not been extensive enough, particularly in New Guinea, to warrant the conservation designation 'extinct'.