Scientists Aim to Bring the Tasmanian Tiger Back From Extinction

Scientists Aim to Bring the Tasmanian Tiger Back From Extinction

Published August 17, 2022
Views 12

This story was originally published by the Guardian and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. The colorized thylacine footage was created by Australia’s National Film and Sound Archive

Scientists in Australia and the US have launched an ambitious multimillion-dollar project to bring back the thylacine, a marsupial that died out in the 1930s, and reintroduce it to its native Tasmania.

The thylacine, also known as the Tasmanian tiger, is the second undertaking by Colossal, a Texas-based biotechnology “de-extinction” company that last year announced it planned to use genetic engineering techniques to re-create the woolly mammoth and return it to the Arctic tundra.

Its new project is a partnership with the University of Melbourne, which earlier this year received a $5m philanthropic gift to open a thylacine genetic restoration lab. The lab’s team has previously sequenced the genome of a juvenile specimen held by Museums Victoria, providing what its leader, Prof Andrew Pask, called “a complete blueprint on how to essentially build a thylacine.”