The History, Ecology and Loss of the Tasmanian Tiger

February 2023
More details
  • Publisher
    CSIRO Publishing
  • Published
    22nd February 2023
  • ISBN 9781486315536
  • Language English
  • Pages 240 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"
  • Images 22 b&w photos, 12 color photos, 8 b&w illus, 5 color illus

Until the mid-20th century, the thylacine was the world’s largest carnivorous marsupial, and its disappearance has left many questions and contradictions.

Alternately portrayed as a scourge and as a high value commodity, the thylacine’s ecology and behavior were known only anecdotally. In recent years, its taxonomic position, ecology, behavior and body size have all been re-examined scientifically, while advances in genetics have presented the potential for de-extinction.

With 78 contributors, Thylacine: The History, Ecology and Loss of the Tasmanian Tiger presents an evidence-based profile of the thylacine, examining its ecology, evolution, encounters with humans, persecution, assumed extinction and its appearance in fiction. The final chapters explore the future for this iconic species – a symbol of extinction but also hope.


  • Includes a diverse range of author contributions.
  • Covers the thylacine from evolution to extinction to fiction.
  • Presents the best evidence to date for the species’ post-1936 survival.
  • The authors are generously allocating all their royalties from the sale of this book to support research into Devil Facial Tumor Disease, a devastating and contagious disease now threatening the wild population of Tasmanian devil – the world’s current largest marsupial carnivore.

Cultural sensitivity warning
Introduction: The thylacine in Australian ecosystems
List of contributors

Part 1: Anatomy, biology and ecology
Part 2: Evolution, palaeontology and taxonomy
Part 3: Aboriginal knowledge and archaeology
Part 4: Early European encounters (1792–1829)
Part 5: The bounty years (1830–1914)
Part 6: A rapidly disappearing species (1915–1936)
Colour plates
Part 7: Into the shadows (1937–present)
Part 8: Beyond the present
Part 9: Beyond reality


Branden Holmes

Branden Holmes is a thylacine researcher who studies the earliest period of European–thylacine interactions and the resulting misperceptions. He jointly re-discovered the last known moving images of the species.

Gareth Linnard

Gareth Linnard is a researcher who primarily specializes in the historical trade in thylacines during the 1920s and 1930s. Based in South Wales, UK, he co-authored a revision of the identity of the last captive thylacine.

Tasmanian tiger; extinct animal; Tasmania