Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Thursday, September 30, 2010

CFZ AUSTRALIA: Are they worth looking for?

Not every species quickens the pulse of naturalists and would-be monster hunters.

You don't, for instance, hear of too many people desperate to re-discover rare species of slug, but there are countless folk fascinated by and in hot pursuit of more glamorous - or as an article in Nature magazine puts it this week in 'Looking beyond the glamour of conservation', 'charismatic' - species such as the extinct Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacinus cynocephalus).

"People just haven't thought hard enough about where they should put their effort," says Diana Fisher, a mammal ecologist at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, who led the study. The findings are published in Proceedings of the Royal Society today. "There is no chance that species are still alive that have been looked for 20 times or more."

And she may have a point - should 'we' be expending time, money and other resources trying to find or resurrect extinct species when there are plenty of MIA mammals of a more recent vintage capable of being rediscovered and nurtured from the brink of extinction?

Perhaps. But it is species like the Thylacine that serve as a laser-like focus for the conservation movement - and remind us of the dire consequences of failure.

And there is a very real possibility that remnant populations of the Thylacine exist. Do we consign our most famous marsupial to certain oblivion or keep looking 'just in case'?

Regardless, the Tasmanian Tiger is something of a cryptozoological Holy Grail, and that's unlikely to change anytime soon.


Rich said...

What infuriates me is that so many efforts are concentrated in Australia and the more accessible areas of the world, while it's the Chinese baiji and Chinese paddlefish that concern me more.

Richard Freeman said...

What absolute drivel this woman is spouting. Many animals thought extinct and looked for have turned up. The pages of Animals and Men are full of such cases each issue in New and Re-descoverd. The thylacine has been seen by a park ranger and a field zoologist and has been convincingly filmed. In short there is more chance of the thylacine existing than any other cryptid.