Book unravels thylacine myths

QVMAG collections officer Tammy Gordon and natural sciences curator David Maynard have co-authored a book about the Tasmanian tiger. Picture: PHILLIP BIGGS

QVMAG collections officer Tammy Gordon and natural sciences curator David Maynard have co-authored a book about the Tasmanian tiger. Picture: PHILLIP BIGGS

A NEW book is attempting to help destroy some of the myths around the extinction of the Tasmanian tiger.

Co-authored by Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery natural sciences curator David Maynard and collections officer Tammy Gordon,  Tasmanian Tiger: Precious Little Remains  has been launched to coincide with a new exhibition on the thylacine at the Inveresk site.

``The thylacine is a very important cultural and historical part of the community,'' Mr Maynard said yesterday.

``A lot of people are under the impression that it was hunted to extinction, that the bounty that was put on its head caused it to be killed off.

``But that's not the case. The bounty contributed, but more importantly, it goes back to the loss of the Tasmanian Aborigines, as they were burning the landscape regularly and that provided new growth for animals to feed on, with the Aborigines effectively supplying their food source. When the Aborigines were lost from the environment 30 years after settlement, the environment changed greatly and the animal was unable to feed effectively.''

The last thylacine died in captivity in 1936.  Tasmanian Tiger: Precious Little Remains, which will be available from the museum gift shop, was launched by Bob Brown last night.

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