Cover image for The last Tasmanian tiger : the history and extinction of the thylacine
Title:
The last Tasmanian tiger : the history and extinction of the thylacine
Author:
Paddle, Robert, 1949-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, [2000]

©2000
Physical Description:
x, 273 pages : illustrations, map ; 26 cm
Language:
English
Subject Term:
ISBN:
9780521782197
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library QL737.M336 P34 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Central Library QL737.M336 P34 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

This book is the most complete and up-to-date examination of the history and extinction of one of Australia's most enduring folkloric beasts - the thylacine, otherwise affectionately known as the Tasmanian tiger. Bob Paddle challenges conventional theories explaining the behaviour and eventual extinction of the thylacine, arguing that rural politicians used the Tasmanian tiger as a scapegoat to protect local agricultural enterprise from the consequences of mismanagement. After the population of thylacines was decimated through a bounty scheme, ineffective political action by scientists finally resulted in the extinction of a once proud species. Paddle also uncovers a deeper intellectual snobbery that set the scene for the thylacine's eventual extinction. The Last Tasmanian Tiger offers new perspectives on the subjective nature of scientific investigation and the politics of preservation. For its groundbreaking work it received the Whitley Medal of the Zoological Society of New South Wales for best science book of 2001.


Reviews 1

Choice Review

The theme of this book seems simple enough. The book reports on what is known of an extinct thylacine, the Tasmanian tiger or marsupial wolf. As Paddle (psychology, Australian Catholic Univ.) develops this theme, the reader learns that this book is about much more. It is about European chauvinism when confronted with the unique fauna of Tasmania, Australia, and New Guinea. It is about how mythology drives reality. It is about the lack of attention paid by scientists to an irrevocable catastrophe. This thoroughly researched and well-documented essay (the 500-plus published citations and 150-plus unpublished manuscripts and letters cited must make up the largest bibliography in existence for the animal) and the well-thought-out index (sample entry: Translation, scientific name) suggest a level of care not often seen in scientific publications. This is a monumental work--a testament to one man's concern for not repeating history's mistakes. It will be read by those with an interest in conservation issues and the politics of preservation. It offers as the slimmest sliver of hope the idea that since we now know this history, we will not repeat it. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals; two-year technical program students. G. Stevens formerly, University of New Mexico


Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsp. vi
Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Notes on referencing, dates and measuresp. x
1 Introduction: science and the species from a European perspectivep. 1
2 Constructing objectivity: changing scientific perceptions of the thylacinep. 15
3 Of signal importance: select social and predatory behavioursp. 37
4 A predatory entertainment: stimuli of consuming interestp. 79
5 Ovisceral exploitation: extracts of sheepish behaviourp. 98
6 Mythology becomes misology: the dogmatism of unenlightenmentp. 139
7 Faunal fun and games: the politics of protectionp. 168
8 The last Tasmanian tiger: indifference and the demise of the speciesp. 185
9 Post-extinction blues: contingency and responsibility in extinctionp. 196
10 Conclusion: the lessons to be learntp. 234
Bibliographyp. 241
Indexp. 269

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