Information on the Tasmanian Wolf or Tiger and other Wildlife
The Tasmanian Wolf (also known as the Tasmanian Tiger) is one of many fascinating and rare animals that were or are native to the state. The island has developed a unique ecosystem with a wide variety of strange animals not found in any other parts of the world. This has largely been due it's isolation, separated from mainland Australia by more than a 200 kilometre stretch of rough ocean.
Some people believe that the Tasmanian Tiger or wolf is still alive and living in the wilds of Tasmania even though it was officially declared extinct in 1936. The Tasmanian kangaroo and a number of different types of wallabies are some of the most common types of Australian marsupials found in the state. Tasmania also has an abundant supply of amazing birdlife and many other Australian mammals and marsupials.
The Tasmanian Wolf, otherwise known as the Tasmanian Tiger, is officially extinct... (although there have been numerous sightings of this near mythical creature in Tasmania for many years). The last known Tasmanian Tiger died in captivity in 1936. This amazingly unique animal was called a Tasmanian Tiger because of the distinctive striping across its back, but has also been called a Tasmanian Wolf. It is actually a marsupial and very different genetically from both wolves and tigers. Its scientific name is the Thylacine.
The Tasmanian Wolf's extinction came about secondary to hunting by farmers, government-funded bounty hunters and, in the final years, collectors for overseas museums.
The Tasmanian Devil was popularised by the cartoon character "Taz" in the 1960s. The real Tasmanian Devils are very different however and haven't ever been seen to spin around in a mini tornado!
The devil is only about the size of a small dog, but it has a ferocious nature and a hellish growl that make it a fairly terrifying part of the Tasmanian wildlife, especially when you hear them in the night....
Tasmanian devils are nocturnal and are the worlds largest surviving carnivourous marsupial. They weigh approximately 12kg as adults, with males being larger than the females. The devil is a scavenger and will feed on whatever meat is available, usually eating carrion that is already dead. They have enormous jaw strength and will eat everything: bone, fur and all.
Wombats are not unique to Tasmania and are found in other parts of south-eastern Australia. However Tasmania has provided a good habitat for wombats to flourish. The Wombat is an Australian marsupial that is a herbivore. It is a short-legged, muscular animal that is very timid and digs extensive burrow systems to take refuge in. It is a nocturnal animal that feeds on grasses, herbs, roots and bark.
The wombat has sandy coloured fur and is approximately 1 metre in length when fully grown. They weigh between 20 to 35kg as adults. Wombats have very slow metabolisms, taking around 14 days to completely digest food, this enables them to survive in semi-arid conditions remarkably well. They are slow, placid creatures, but when frightened can run at speeds of up to 40 km/hr. They also have a very tough posterior (rump) made of cartilage that can protect them in their burrows.
The Tasmanian kangaroo is a marsupial that is also found in other parts of Australia. Kangaroos are herbivores predominantly eating a wide variety of grasses.
There are a number of different species of kangaroos, ranging in size and colour. The Red Kangaroo is the largest kangaroo of Australia living in the arid and semi-arid parts of central Australia. The Eastern and Western Grey Kangaroo is smaller but more common than its larger cousin and found near the coasts. The Eastern Kangaroo is the type of kangaroo found in Tasmania.
Kangaroos are the only large animal in the world to use hopping as a means of locomotion. In combination with its large, powerful tail a kangaroo can reach speeds of 70 km/h (44 mph). A kangaroo's average life expectancy is 4 to 6 years.
Find out more about the Tasmanian Tiger
Back to top of Tasmanian Wolf and other Tasmanian Wildlife