Selected postings from east-timor (reg.easttimor)

All publicity is Good Publicity!  -  Cane Toads in Timor Leste?
The Haburas Foundation wishes to thank Prof. Ric Shine for his expert opinions on the identification of the toads that have been found in TL. This kind of strong specialist knowledge is exactly what this country needs in its battle against invasive alien (non-native)

However we would like to draw attention to the wider issue, which is that no conclusive academic study on the presence, or absence of the cane toad Bufo marinus has been made. It is still therefore a matter of up-most importance that swift and accurate measures are taken to qualify and quantify this potential disaster.
Thus Haburas are calling for a moratorium on the debate over the three photographed specimens taken from a single site, and instead to focus on an urgent, coordinated effort to proactively identify this potentially massive threat throughout TL. A precautionary approach
must be adopted, with a brief risk assessment (a standard procedure in ASEAN countries, particularly those that share watersheds and trade vectors), possibly followed by an urgent and sizable damage limitation operation.

The evidence for and against an Australian army assisted migration is subjective and will likely never be conclusive. There is however some anecdotal evidence that should be heard  - i.e. the statements from Australian Defense Force soldiers in The Sun-Herald reporting that

they have no doubt about the 2006 infestation of cane toads in the Phoenix compound, or about the non-existent quarantine measures that could have nipped the problem in the bud. While these stories may not be based on scientific evidence, surely given the severity of the
potential problem, they are worth investigating.

Due to the unsurpassed expertise that the Australian government has in this field, and the likelihood that if there is a Bufo marinus trans-boundary migration, it is from Australia, Haburas are urging both the Timorese and Australian governments to put this topic high on

their agendas, and subsequently collaborate and coordinate efforts towards its determination.

Finally, from Australia's strong academic expertise, Haburas is openly requesting assistance for field examination capacity, advice or other that will contribute to a swift resolution to this regional problem.

Nicholas Molyneux

Sustainable Environment Capacity Building Advisor to The Haburas Foundation


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