The De-extinction of the Tasmanian Wolf is Brought One Step Closer

The University of Melbourne is establishing a world-class research lab for de-extinction and marsupial conservation science.

The Thylacine Integrated Genetic Restoration Research (TIGRR) Lab, led by Professor Andrew Pask, which will develop technologies that could achieve de-extinction of the thylacine (commonly known as the Tasmanian tiger), and provide crucial tools for threatened species conservation.

The thylacine, a unique marsupial carnivore also known as the Tasmanian wolf, was once widespread in Australia but was confined to the island of Tasmania by the time Europeans arrived in the 18th century. It was soon hunted to extinction by colonists, with the last known animal dying in captivity in 1936.

“Of all the species proposed for de-extinction, the thylacine has arguably the most compelling case. The Tasmanian habitat has remained largely unchanged, providing the perfect environment to re-introduce the thylacine and it is very likely its reintroduction would be beneficial for the whole ecosystem,” Professor Pask said.

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