Tasmanian Wolf

"Tasmanian Wolf and Pup" by Terryl Whitlatch (pencil, Copic sketchmarkers, digital photocopier, digital)

The Tasmanian wolf (Thylacine) is a creature that exists in the shadowlands of extinction and possible survival. There have been increasing eye witness reports as to its viability, and the most recent footage I’ve seen shows a striped swift running creature with not only the characteristic stiff rod-like tail, but more significantly, the correct heel to toe ratio of the hind foot—which distinguishes it from canines, such as the foxes with mange depicted in older videos. Animals which have been severely hunted by mankind by necessity become historically secretive, go underground, so to speak. But, perhaps enough time has gone by for the most recent generation of Thylacine to ‘forget’, and become a bit less timid in showing themselves. And that is great hope indeed.
— Terryl Whitlatch

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Also known as the Tasmanian tiger.


Tasmanian wolves were once widespread throughout the Australian mainland and New Guinea. They lived in grassy woodlands, open forests, coastal regions and open grasslands. They built lairs between rocks but litters of pups were most often found in highly vegetated areas.

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Family Life

Although they had a vicious appearance, Tasmanian wolves were timid and could be captured without a fight. They were solitary and nocturnal, although a mother would remain close to her offspring before it reached adulthood. Their typical core territory was approximately 15-20 square miles.


Tasmanian wolves lived an average of five to seven years in the wild.

Hunting Habits/Diet

Little is known of the Tasmanian wolf’s diet and feeding behavior. Prey is believed to have included kangaroos, wallabies and wombats, birds and small animals such as potoroos and possums. Some reports suggest that these mammals hunted by pursuing their prey over great distances until it tired.


They are extinct. The last sighting was reported in 2008.

Fun Fact

The Tasmanian wolf was also known as the Tasmanian tiger or thylacine. The species is now extinct, but when they were alive, they would sometimes hop on two legs, like a kangaroo. Their jaws could also open to an impressive 120 degree angle.

Why are they Endangered?

The Tasmanian wolf became extinct on the mainland of Australia because it could not compete for food with non-native species, specifically, the dingo, a kind of wild dog. Tasmanian wolves continued to thrive on the dingofree island of Tasmania until Europeans arrived in the region; as a result they were often hunted by farmers who were suspicious of their aggressive appearance and protective over their sheep.


The Tasmanian wolf is thought to be Extinct; the last reported sighting was in 2008.

By Unknown Author (http://www.daylife.com/photo/0eQw72l6T848J) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Unknown Author (http://www.daylife.com/photo/0eQw72l6T848J) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons