Human-wildlife conflict: an unequal contest that needs redefining

When humans and animals cross, it’s termed conflict. As Tim Jarvis explains, that’s not correct.

This passionate article explains the human impact on ecosystems and the effect that is having on native animals. It is well suited to year 7 Biology students and should be used to encourage them to think critically about common terminology and the preconceptions that can lead to.

It’s 84 years since the last known Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus), died at Beaumaris Zoo, Hobart. Locked out of its sleeping quarters by its keepers, it died in its cage, alone, as temperatures plummeted overnight.

In 1996, on the 60th anniversary of this inauspicious date, 7 September was declared National Threatened Species Day — a day to reflect on how other species could await a similar fate at humanity’s hand.

Before European settlement it’s estimated there were around 5000 thylacines in Tasmania. But European farmers saw it as a threat to their introduced flocks of sheep, and so hunted it to extinction – with the enthusiastic help of colonial administrators.

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