The Tasmanian tiger, a carnivorous marsupial that looks like a species of dog, is supposedly extinct. The last known member of this species was captured in 1933 and eventually died in a zoo.
Benjamin The Last Captive Tasmanian Tiger
The death of Benjamin, the last captive thylacine, in Tasmania's Hobart Zoo in 1936 has been thought to be the end of the species's lineage but not everyone is convinced. Although the creature was declared extinct in 1986, claims of people seeing members of the species continue to exist. One hunter even claimed he has a dash-cam footage of the creature.
Tales of people seeing the animal has prompted scientists to launch a hunt for the Tasmanian tiger. Because of seemingly credible eyewitness accounts of possible Tasmanian tigers, Bill Laurance and Sandra Abell, both from James Cook University, will take part in a survey that hopes to finally confirm whether or not the Tasmanian tiger still exists.
"It's really important to get all the facts together and there are a lot of different things we need to be sure of before we spend the resources to actually go out look for something," Abell 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."
If scientists finally find evidence that the Tasmanian tiger is still alive today, it isn't the first time that a supposedly extinct species gets found still thriving.
Philippine Naked-Backed Fruit Bat
The large flying mammal used to be abundant in number that huge piles of its guano were mined and used as fertilizer. The species was declared extinct in 1996 after none had been spotted since 1964. The extinction of this large bat is blamed on hunting as people hunt it for its meat. The forests, where it foraged fruits, were also replaced by sugar cane plantation. Five years after it was declared extinct, the bat was rediscovered in 2001.
Australian Night Parrot
Australia's night parrot was thought to be extinct as the last sighting of a living member of the species was noted in the 1980s. In 2013, however, ornithologist John Young declared that he saw one and was even able to capture photos of the bird. It is now confirmed that the population of the nocturnal bird continues to thrive and efforts are being made to protect the species. Non-profit organization Bush Heritage Australia, procured a 56,000-hectare sanctuary to safeguard and study the elusive bird.
The Rhaphium pectinatum is a species of fly thought to be extinct. It was only seen once in July 1868 but was spotted by naturalist Rob Wolton at the Devon Wildlife Trust nature reserve in the United Kingdom in 2015.
Bouvier's Red Colobus Monkey
The primate had not been seen since the 1970s so many experts assumed that it was extinct. The species was photographed in 2015 in the newest wildlife reserve in the Republic of Congo, the Ntokou-Pikounda National Park.