September 7th is National Threatened Species Day in Australia. The date commemorates the death of the last known thylacine (or Tasmanian tiger, Thylacinus cynocephalus) in 1936. It is believed to have died from the cold after being locked out of its sleeping quarters in Hobart Zoo. Although neglect killed the last individual, the species had already received its death sentence despite being common in Tasmania before European settlement in 1803. Thylacines are believed to have been driven to extinction predominantly by hunting, with habitat destruction and disease also believed to have played a role. Since 1936, other species have followed the Tassie tiger down the extinction path; National Threatened Species Day encourages us to reflect on this, and think about how to protect our unique Australian fauna and flora into the future.
Should we have the same in the UK?