Tasmanian tiger 'sightings' spark search in Queensland

Camera traps to be set up on Cape York Peninsula

Tasmanian Tiger

Scientists are launching a search for the extinct Tasmanian tiger (Thylacine) in Far North Queensland after a number of sightings were reported.

A team of researchers from James Cook University will use camera traps to survey sites where the animals are believed to have been spotted on Cape York Peninsula.

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Dr Sandra Abell, who is leading the survey, said: "We have had declines in our mammals all through Cape York and through Australia, so my concern is that if we leave it too much longer to just go and have a look then we could actually miss out on seeing something."

The interest was sparked by a detailed description of a Thylacine sighting by former tourism operator Brian Hobbs, Australian Geographic reports.

Brian said he saw a group of the animals.

According to ABC, Professor Bill Laurence, at James Cook University, spoke to Hobbs and said: "He was quite detailed in terms of his descriptions of eye shines and aspects of the body pattern and movements."

It is not the first time that extinct species have been surveyed.

Abell said: "We've just rediscovered a population of northern bettong where there had been no records since 2003."

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