Tasmanian Tiger – Does it exist? (Thylacine)
Here’s my take. Its gotta be based on a life support system that will provide food opportunities for a carnivorous apex predator – thus an environment that provides abundant plant food for the prey-animals, combined with a sufficient distance from civilisation, for this eco-system to thrive undisturbed.
So the most remote part of Tasmania is the South-West. So that covers the distance from civilisation side of things. The next question is: Is there anything in the South West for a Tiger to eat? And in my opinion the answer is no. If you have a look at the South West of Tasmania the absence of kangaroos and wallabies is obvious, and you can go hiking through those regions for days and not see a single kangaroo. Kangaroos eat grass. The type of shrub that covers the terrain in this region is a kind of sharp razor plant – like a really inhospitable plant about 2 feet tall and that carpets the ground for hundreds of square kilometers. All the lush grasslands are taken up by farms elsewhere – mostly in the North-East and they are too close to civilisation for Tigers to co-exist historically.
Essentially it can exist today, if the required lush areas exist where some food for the Tiger can be found. As I say it also needs to be remote enough that Tigers could have remained undiscovered there during the times that in other areas they were being hunted to extinction.
What is a Tasmanian Tiger? Looks like a kind of Hyena-Leopard-Dog-Kangaroo type marsupial. A magnificent creature and I hope they are still out there somewhere.
Update July 2021: A tiger was spotted in Victoria!