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Tassie tiger lives on Threatened Species Day

4 SEPTEMBER 2003

The tale of the lost Tasmanian tiger will highlight the need to preserve biodiversity during a special National Threatened Species Day talk at the National Museum in Canberra this Sunday.

National Threatened Species Day is held annually on 7 September, to mark the death of Ben, the last known tiger, who died on this day in Hobart Zoo in 1936.

Nature enthusiast Tim the Yowie Man will this Sunday examine the thylacine from prehistoric times to more recent controversial plans to clone a tiger using DNA.

"The Tasmanian tiger is a powerful symbol for conservation because it is a recent example of a creature driven to extinction by our own devices," Tim says.

"Threatened Species Day encourages us to look after our native flora and fauna. It's about ongoing education, not half-hearted suggestions like cloning lost species which does nothing but foster complacency."

Tim's thylacine talk is being held in the National Museum Studio, Canberra, from 2-3pm this Sunday, 7 September.

Tim will also outline his efforts to follow up the thousands of reported tiger sightings each year. This November he makes his annual trek to Tasmania, spending nights searching for the elusive thylacine. (He forgives the local farmer who set him up using a greyhound striped with paint!)

The National Museum's Tangled Destinies gallery includes a memorial to the lost Tasmanian tiger, including a thylacine pelt and footage of Ben in captivity.

Tangled Destinies also looks at the impact of introduced species on Australia's native flora and fauna, with an electronic map graphically illustrating the rapid spread of the carp, fox, rabbit and other biological invaders.

AND: National Museum curator Mat Trinca will lead a behind-the-scenes tour of the museum's wet specimens collection, including a Tasmanian tiger carcass, on 17 September. Dry Facts and Wet Specimens looks at the historic Australian Institute of Anatomy collection, now stored at the National Museum's warehouse in Mitchell.

For more information please contact Leanda Coleman at the National Museum of Australia on 02 6208 5338, 0438 620 710 or l.coleman@nma.gov.au