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Estimating the extinction date of the thylacine with mixed certainty data

Overview of attention for article published in Conservation Biology, February 2018
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (98th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (93rd percentile)

Mentioned by

news
1 news outlet
blogs
1 blog
twitter
196 tweeters
facebook
2 Facebook pages
reddit
1 Redditor

Citations

dimensions_citation
4 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
21 Mendeley
Title
Estimating the extinction date of the thylacine with mixed certainty data
Published in
Conservation Biology, February 2018
DOI 10.1111/cobi.13037
Pubmed ID
Authors

Colin J. Carlson, Alexander L. Bond, Kevin R. Burgio

Abstract

The thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus), one of Australia's most characteristic megafauna, was the largest marsupial carnivore until hunting, and potentially disease, drove it to extinction in 1936. Though thylacines were restricted to Tasmania for two millennia prior to their extinction, recent "plausible" sightings on the Cape York Peninsula in northern Queensland have emerged, leading some to speculate the species may persist, undetected. Here we show that the continued survival of the thylacine is entirely implausible based on most current mathematical theories of extinction. We present a dataset including physical evidence, expert-validated sightings, and unconfirmed sightings leading up to the present day, and use a range of extinction models, focusing on a Bayesian approach that incorporates all three types of data by modelling valid and invalid sightings as independent processes, to evaluate the likelihood of the thylacine's persistence. Although the last captive individual died in September 1936, our analyses suggest the most likely extinction date would be 1940; other extinction models estimated the thylacine's extinction date between 1936 and 1943, and even the most optimistic scenario suggests the species did not persist beyond 1956. The search for the thylacine, much like similar efforts to "rediscover" other recently extinct charismatic taxa, is likely to be fruitless, especially given that persistence on Tasmania would have been no guarantee the species could reappear in regions that had been unoccupied for millennia. The search for the thylacine may become a rallying point for conservation and wildlife biology, and could indirectly help fund and support critical research in understudied areas like Cape York. However, our results suggest that attempts to rediscover the thylacine will likely be unsuccessful. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 196 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 21 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 21 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 6 29%
Student > Ph. D. Student 5 24%
Researcher 3 14%
Student > Postgraduate 3 14%
Student > Bachelor 2 10%
Other 2 10%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 9 43%
Environmental Science 6 29%
Unspecified 4 19%
Veterinary Science and Veterinary Medicine 1 5%
Psychology 1 5%
Other 0 0%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 140. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 05 July 2019.
All research outputs
#106,731
of 13,627,279 outputs
Outputs from Conservation Biology
#51
of 2,687 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#5,173
of 314,790 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Conservation Biology
#4
of 59 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 13,627,279 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 2,687 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 18.5. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 98% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 314,790 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 98% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 59 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 93% of its contemporaries.