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  1. It was on the back of my mind, given the ambiguity and confusion thrown up by everyone with a lot of good opinion but understandably nothing else that of substance except to congenital hoaxers, that this is is one show that doesn’t really need an arts grant to go on for an extended season. 

    But, well,  thinking now a bit deeper, especially with a sort of truce called in the M-E,  if someone will give me my old SLR back and a bit of time off work and a 4wd support van with refrigeration for slabs (and NOT slabs for foxes carcasses) .... yeah, I’d be in it for a share of the Grand. 

    Will Obendorf, Evers - any other potential black line volunteers - be in it too? Just to be a real part of history, especially if we only find a thylacine in our gunsights?

    Posted by Watcher on the Balcony  on  14/08/06  at  05:53 PM
  2. I seem to recall asking for a bounty way back in 2001 and several times after that. As always there were howls of protest from the closed shop brigade.

    At a thousand dollars a fox the millions already spent with NO results could have paid a lot of bounties. Me thinks it would have cost the tax payers considerably less.

    Finally I think there is someone out there that knows the truth about the Conara carcass, I implore this person to come forward and not have the blood on their hands from a ongoing 1080 baiting campaign.

    If in excess of 80,000 fox baits have been laid and 10% OF THESE BAITS TAKEN, I SAY AGAIN WHAT BY?

    Posted by ian rist  on  15/08/06  at  12:47 AM
  3. I wonder who would benifit from the release of foxes and the end result of the dissapearance of nearly all of our brousing native animals along with many sheep.

    A million dollar reward offered would bring that person or company to justice where compensation totaly breaking that person or company could be extracted along with lengthy jail terms.

    This is a cheep start to solving the fox problem in tasmania that could end up costing the state many times this amount.

    If the fox threat is real our wildlife and tourisim economy is in big trouble and we should treat this far more seriously.

    Posted by steve  on  15/08/06  at  03:42 AM
  4. If the government was serious about this a ten thousand dollar reward for each fox would get hunters in the fields.

    Traps that could be baited with a live rooster should be supplied free of charge to anyone willing to set them.

    A design for a trap should be made avaliable now for any work shop in the state willing to make and supply them today not next budget.

    Posted by steve  on  15/08/06  at  04:17 AM
  5. WANTED - One dead genuine Tasmanian fox.

    This reward posting is a genuine encouragement to ordinary Tasmanians particularly those in rural Tasmania to provide the corroborative evidence that shows irrefutably that there are foxes living and perhaps breeding in Tasmania.

    As a person who has been critical of the way the fox evidence has been handled and presented to the public over the last 5 years, I put my money where my mouth (and pen) is!

    The idea of the reward has been around for some time now and recent letters to Tasmanian newspapers clearly indicates some general agreement for this approach. I was encouraged that other Tasmanians also see its merit.

    This is a private reward; it is not a State reward and I thank all those who supported this, made pledges and contributed.

    PS: The State Government should offer the same reward to the driver of the vehicle that killed the fox at Conara on 1 August 2006, but only when it is proven, beyond reasonable doubt, that this fox was living in the wild in the Conara area.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  15/08/06  at  07:02 AM
  6. I reckon it would be more effective to encourage the community to contact the fox hotline w/sightings and leave it to the professionals to erradicate.  Information leading to actual findings can be rewarded.

    We don’t want to encourage redneck behaviour!

    Bounty hunting is not the answer.

    Posted by joanne  on  15/08/06  at  07:38 AM
  7. Joanne please define Red Neck behaviour; also I would have thought the idea was to use any means to eradicate any foxes that may or not be here.

    The professionals you speak of have not had any proven kills so I guess it might be time to encourage law abiding hunters and shooters.

    The bounty system recently removed 195,000 foxes in Victoria; bounties don’t work?

    Posted by ian rist  on  15/08/06  at  10:01 AM
  8. Dear Steve and Joanne,

    I await to see your equivalent letters published in the good old Advocate who gave a sweeping article to a local land owner in the north who made an identical pledge on Monday 7 Aug 2006.  I recall the paper also gave a follow-up article about a shooter in the employ of DPIWE who was a keen advocate of the plan.

    Steve - if you really think that a whole $1K is enticement for someone to think that it is worth their while smuggling a fox into Tasmania (given, petrol, freight and air costs these days), then maybe you could get a transfer from DPIWE to Treasury and start working on the next ferry purchase.  This is a shabby and transparent attack on Dr. O’s character. Try again - we can all see through it.

    Joanne - if the (majority) of the Tasmanian community doesn’t want to encourage redneck behaviour, then how do you explain the March election results. Spare us from the platitudes please.

    Posted by Super Model  on  15/08/06  at  12:59 PM
  9. Ian, Redneck behaviour re: foxes would be to shoot at anything hoping to get a fox and smuggling in foxes from the mainland to garnish reward. Having even responsible, professional hunters bring in fox kills is not a responsible solution to this potentially widespread infestation.

    It’s a community awareness exercise at best, counter productive re: working toward a solid, systematic solution at worse. 

    This is a bi-partisan issue.  It affects all Tasmanians.  Perhaps calling for an officially organised armed voluntary community fox task force might be more effective…in the long run.

    Posted by joanne  on  15/08/06  at  05:36 PM
  10. Joanne you really need to go out on a spotlighting expedition and learn the topic before you suggest some people would shoot at anything hoping to get a fox.

    The eyeshine signature (from the tapetum in the eye) of foxes is unmistakeable as is the body shape and silhouette. Professional hunters bringing in foxes is not a responsible solution-what on earth do you mean? As for widespread infestation,that would be a very questionable statement. If there is widespread infestation why then can’t the professionals we are paying millions to produce a single carcass.

    I do agree it is an issue that affects all Tasmanians and all Tasmanians should be involved.  I am tired of being called a super sceptic by Mooney and co. I have never denied the possibility of foxes entering on container boats and never doubted such sightings as Chris Spencer’s or Steve Cronin’s. What I have objected to is some of the “evidence” presented which I know is not factual and the lies told about importation and release.

    Posted by ian rist  on  15/08/06  at  11:43 PM
  11. Im not trying to attack David O long ago the government should have placed a far larger reward along with severe penalties for trying to fraud the bounty.

    The dpiwe and the treasury are just lackeys for the woodchip barons and i wouldn’t work for any of these yes men.

    A large reward along with a massive trapping program should be in place now.I have lived in western NSW and the only wildlife on the ground is large kangaroos, emus and foxes. I really hope foxes are not here but just in case they are i would like to hear the super model solution to this.

    Posted by steve  on  16/08/06  at  01:06 AM
  12. Ian, I agree that done professionally, over a period of time and in accordance with authorities, hunting helps.  However we must account for those ill-intentioned armed folks who have no respect for wildlife. 

    Consider the recent cases of indiscriminant shootings of the endangered Wedge-tailed Eagles.  Those “red necks” are out there for both profit and publicity.

    Fox Invasion is a serious issue and perhaps all parties should consider working together for a solid solution specific to Tasmania instead of pointing the finger and venting feuds?

    Posted by joanne  on  16/08/06  at  05:41 AM
  13. CUI BONO-Who benefits? I have been amazed at some of the statements made in the media in the last few weeks since the squashed fox turned up on the side of the road at Conara.

    Calls for aerial 1080 baiting,my goodness if they do we won’t have to worry about foxes eating the wildlife,there won’t be any left to eat.

    The Examiner had a feature on the 12th August with the usual participants mouthing off; Dr. Tony Peacock again quoting incidents as fact that have been long proven fiction or hoaxes.

    Wasn’t Tony Peacock, Steven Lapidge and Charles Carroll the original promoters of 1080 fox baiting here way back in 2001? These guys sure have an interest in 1080 fox baiting.

    CRC invasive animals, Pestat P/L and Animal Control Technologies all have a huge financial interest in 1080 baits. 

    Finally, where is the money being spent? Year after year we have seen millions of taxpayer dollars go into this debacle; where is it being spent? If you were running a private company with that much expenditure and no results you probably could be forgiven for looking at staff and application changes. CUI BONO.

    Posted by ian rist  on  16/08/06  at  06:58 AM
  14. Steve - yes I agree, with the exception of the idea of a large bounty. I have no problem with the present reward, but when you start to offer competiive bounties - that is when you really will encourage the guns and other ratbags of society.

    I dont have a silver bullet solution to the problem but would like to make the following observation which may assist. Firstly Ian has noted the first corrective measure. A huge amount of cash has been poured into this exercise - but only via DPIWE. When budget monies are appropraited in this manner very little get used for real operational purposes - hence we presently have about 3 public servants (and no dog) running around on he ground trying to find a needle in a haystack.  The cynical would say that this has been a deliberate ploy by the govt - so that nothing is actually found. However it ultimate outcome is provide total govt. PR control over the issue. This strategy has largely backfired with gowing scepticism.

    A logical solution to this problem may be to tender the search out to a private entity who has the capacity and experience to find the beast (minus the political strings) - and I dont mean the local gun club or possum hunter - I mean consortia of professional (and independent) scientists.

    Secondly, to date the debate has concentrated on traditional methods (hunting etc). Given the likely small population (if any), any ground-truthing techniques alone will be useless. Its time to think laterally and afar about possible technologies. To this end I note that the Vic Fire Brigade has a specialised unit of scientists who have developed state of the art aerial thermal scanning techniques. I also believe that this technology could be used for other purposes, such as foresnic detection to find bodies dumped in the bush - ie the thermal decay of the tissue can be detected from the air and the size/shape can be determined. As ever, Super Model says - to find a fox - look outside the box.

    Posted by Super Model  on  16/08/06  at  09:05 PM
  15. Super Model, you make several very good points.

    The principle aim of this $1000 reward is to provide the incentive to experienced Tasmanian hunters to provide the verification needed to build public confidence. Please, read the fox posting on Tasmanian Times of this Tuesday, it tries to explain the basis of this approach:

    I certainly don’t imagine that a fox bounty or a reward - of itself - can eradicate foxes in Tasmania. The State Government officials realise that the community is divided on the issue of presence or absence of breeding foxes in Tasmania; their relative risk to the local environment, biodiversity and farming; and how to actually eradicate those foxes that are here.

    Super Model, I agree with you on this point also - ‘To find the fox look outside the box’. But I can tell you, when you query processes and you offer constructive suggestions along these lines… doesn’t seem easy for those in control to begin a open dialogue. That is an old karma.

    I believe they have been prejudiced and discriminating against certain individuals that try to contribute and offer assistance. It hasn’t been easy trying to knock on their door… are told by the classic ‘gatekeeper’ person in the system that others in the system see you as ‘persona non grata’.

    Yet THIS IS A VERY SERIOUS ISSUE for Tasmania and this has been the play.

    Super Model, I believe this has more to do with politics than science. I say this because if the State Government was genuinely convinced - 5 years ago - that it had clear, incontrovertible evidence for the release of up to 19 foxes at three or four specific locations then the State Government could have used its emergency powers to initiate a whole of Government response. It did not. Instead, history shows it came down to a bicker over funding between the State & the Commonwealth. Who would pay for it?

    Had they factored in a ‘Community contribution’?

    What can you do, as an individual, if you realise that there are other plausible explanations for the emergence of foxes in the Tasmanian environment? What can you do, as an individual, if you see and talk about a ‘bigger picture’ that the Natural Resource Agency in this State is only NOW beginning to grapple with?

    It ain’t easy, believe me!

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  17/08/06  at  04:14 AM
  16. Foxes are higly developed hunters that enjoy the chase and the kill given the abundance of small furry animals in tasmania I can’t see them taking much intrest in buried 1080 baits.

    Posted by steve  on  18/08/06  at  03:23 AM
  17. C.R.C. invasive animals recently did a so called independent report on fox incursions in Tasmania;personally I thought it was a fair and balanced report.

    However,when one is asked to consider this as a independent report it cannot be accepted as that. Why might you ask? Let us start with the fact that CRC invasive animals are doing the independent DNA and scientific testing of Tasmania’s fox scats,blood and any other suspected fox material.

    CRC invasive animals commercial arm is Pestat Ltd, supplier of fox control products along with Animal control technologies who are largest supplier of 1080 fox baits in Australia.

    Managing director is Linton Staples who is also on the board of Pestat Ltd. and CRC invasive animals. Steven Lapidge who was on the radio the other day welcoming the Goverment’s latest cash donation to the fox problem just happens to be Program Leader: uptake of products and strategies CRC invasive animals. Lapidge in his radio interview was more interested in convincing the public his line of business was in the recovery of endangered species.

    We then have Tony Peacock CEO of CRC invasive animals and chief spokesperson lately on the seriousness of the fox find at Conara, and of course Charles Carroll who is head of communications and marketing CRC invasive animals.

    Of course these people would need to convince us as to the seriousness of foxes in Tasmania, and I agree no one wants foxes here, but let’s all cut the crap and stop pushing our personal agendas.

    At the end of the day I would like to have an accountant’s look at where the millions are going. Surely three men on the ground and a couple of geriatric dogs couldn’t chew through that much money?

    Posted by ian rist  on  18/08/06  at  07:48 AM
  18. “This is a bi-partisan issue.  It affects all Tasmanians.” - joanne.

    Bi-partisan or tri-partisan?  Don’t the views of the other 4 elected members of state parliment count?

    Posted by Tassie Smurf  on  19/08/06  at  12:24 AM
  19. Ian, this is very intersting information in Comment #17.

    You draw on the linkages between the R&D and commercial aspects of fox control in Australia and its possible association to the unfolding events in Tasmania over the last 5 years or so.

    This definitely requires a more ‘in depth’ full blog to put the detail out there because few Tasmanian Times readers with an interest in this topic would understand the underpinning of the local fox activities with these national organisations & commercial companies and their key spokes-people.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  19/08/06  at  09:47 PM
  20. David I think we all may become lost in the complexity of its players and their roles, a more simple solution would be achieved by the “Conara fox kill driver” coming forward.

    This person would instantly become famous; those who tell the truth have nothing to fear.But not coming forward creates more scepticism and mistrust.

    The Old Beach incident needs a careful explanation also, if the 20 chooks were left dead in situ from the 16th of May until the 21st May one would have thought the cameras, sand traps and hair traps that were installed would have revealed some evidence of fox.

    Instead we are asked to accept two tiny specks of blood tested at CRC’s Canberra university site as positive fox and that they did come from the chicken coop at Old Beach Drive.

    Why weren’t the chooks DNA tested?

    My bet would be Reynard took the rap for the killing lust of a spotted tailed Quoll; it’s well known that if a Tiger Cat gets in the chook pen it will kill every chook.

    This Old Beach site would be the first fox kill site in history that Reynard has not revisited to cache his kills.

    Posted by ian rist  on  20/08/06  at  10:21 AM
  21. When are they going to release info on the stomach contents of the conara fox; surely it would only take a week to work it out.

    Posted by steve  on  29/08/06  at  02:21 AM
  22. The fox fur contents would also be interesting; traces of soil,gravel,hessian bag and any thing else the fox had contact with before it died.

      Don’t worry Steve they will only tell you what they want to prop up the “Tasmanian fox theory”

    Posted by ian rist  on  29/08/06  at  05:40 AM
  23. Ian Rist’s comments on commercial relationships associated with the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre have been pointed out to me and warrant a response.

    The Invasive Animals CRC is a company limited by guarantee (not-for-profit).  Our funding comes from the Commonwealth and industry/natural resource organisation funds such as Australian Wool Innovation Ltd and the Murray-Darling Basin Commission.

    Pestat Ltd was the spin-off company from the previous Pest Animal Control CRC and is now simply a member of the Invasive Animals CRC.  It is owned by some of the previous investors in the PAC CRC: three Universities plus some staff incentive arrangements I believe.

    Animal Control Technologies is also a member of the IA CRC.  Although a commercial supplier of 1080 baits, to my knowledge, the company does not supply the Tasmanian Government and certainly no money has ever come back to the IA CRC or its predecessor from baiting activities in Tasmania.

    It is not correct to claim the Pest Animal Control CRC, me or Charles Carroll were the “original promoters” of 1080 baiting back in 2001.  We were attendees at a workshop which unanimously agreed that 1080 baiting was required.  The workshop included people from DPIWE, the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association and the Tasmanian Conservation Trust.  The recent report by a panel of experts agreed that baiting was the right strategy and remains so. (Charles Carroll has long since left the CRC - direct any angst at me).

    I think the baits used in Tasmania actually come from the WA Agriculture Protection Board.  Before I get accused of some sort of kickback again: yes, they are members of the IA CRC and no, we do not receive one cent from any sales they might make.

    Please be assured that everyone associated with the CRC are involved because they think the issue is important, not because of financial gains.  The CRC is providing funding for DNA testing, scat analysis, training and analysis - we would love to believe there were no foxes in Tasmania and save this money, but we think it is an important investment in Australia’s wildlife.

    I do agree with Ian Rist that feral cats warrant far more attention than they currently receive.  We have adopted an objective of “reducing the impact of feral cats over five million hectares” and have significant project in WA and Victoria to this end.  However, the Tasmanian scat collection work undertaken for the foxes by the University of Canberra will also contribute to gaining more insight into cat abundance and impact.

    Posted by Tony Peacock  on  01/09/06  at  06:21 AM
  24. My contribution is factual only, and in response to comment #17.

    1.  Pestat Ltd is *not* the commercial arm of the Invasive Animals CRC.  While we would be proud to say so if it was true, in fact Pestat Ltd is one of more than 40 independent partner entities that collectively comprise the Centre. 

    2.  Pestat’s fox control product is an attractant spray (FeralMone(R)—please see our web site).  I agree it could be very useful in the current context in Tasmania, but its market success is based on ongoing sales in other parts of the country, and in no way dependent on adoption for use—or otherwise—in Tasmania.  Pestat Ltd does not sell 1080 baits, as your comment implies.

    3.  It is a matter of public record that Linton Staples is a member of the Board of Directors of Pestat Ltd, where his inputs are highly valued.  There is no connection or relevance here to any issues relating to the matter of foxes in Tasmania.

    4.  Please confine your further comments about Pestat Ltd to facts, not supposition.  If you are unsure of the facts, plase feel free to e-mail me your questions.

    with regards

    David Dall
    Managing Director, Pestat Ltd

    Posted by David Dall  on  01/09/06  at  08:39 AM
  25. On page two of the Pest Animal Control CRC,s 2001/2002 annual report under executive summary it clearly states “The Directors were encouraged by the rapid progress made by Pestat, a commercial spin-off company from the CRC,during the year, and supported its Product Development”

    Posted by ian rist  on  01/09/06  at  11:25 AM
  26. Regards #25—

    1.  The key point is the age of the reference material being relied upon.

    Pestat was originally established by the *Pest Animal Control* CRC in 1999.

    In the many years since then the Pest Animal Control CRC has ceased operation, and Pestat Ltd has evolved to the status of a fully independent company. 

    A new agency—the Invasive Animals CRC—has also been established by a large consortium of partner agencies that share genuine concern about invasive animals.  Pestat Ltd is one of these partners.

    2.  At #24 I invited invitations seeking clarification of matters of a factual nature.  However, this appears to be a matter of only limited interest.

    David Dall
    Pestat Ltd

    Posted by David Dall  on  02/09/06  at  04:08 AM
  27. I would suggest to anyone interested that they simply go to the internet, type in Pestat, click on corporate and make up their own minds. Personally to myself and many other Tasmanians it falls into the CGAF category.

    Posted by ian rist  on  03/09/06  at  05:45 PM
  28. I had 3 independent reports of a fox at Elizabeth Town over a decade ago including the name of the importer of the 4 cubs from Victoria from the mouth of a babe [innocent honesty].

    I was told that Mooney’s answer when told was that the devils would eat them and given th passage of time it would seems so as the released population did not explode given that some were probably vixens.

    Why are the 2 rewards not combined. Will Jackson accept less evidence of the place of shooting and if Obendorf gets proof positive will Jackson also pay or does he want his own lifelesss body.

    Will anyone stump up some more and make this reward more worthwhile. Sceptics have it easy, never having to pay.

    Failure to produce a body to recieve these 2 $1,000 rewards does not evidence that foxes have not been present this decade nor that they are now all dead - eradicated.

    It does evidence the difficulty in detecting a fox the taskforce claims.

    However, continuation of a level of funding becomes more difficult to justify without evidence of some effect such as a number of dead feral cats and not devils or quolls [8,000 missing meat baits].

    Indeed, where are the regulations governing cat keeping and the feral cat eradication program given the additional threat to wildlife posed by foxes.

    Giving greater substance to a reward has its difficulties with fraud and even encouraging importation.

    Obendorf has set not unreasonable conditions that could be met by ‘professional’ shooters and so why does not the task force recommend to government that a similar reward be made.

    Covers the cost of a successful weekend seeking a fox or saves a mint. Pay a little sweetner for a feral cat to keep up the pressure.

    Posted by phill Parsons  on  09/09/06  at  09:47 PM
  29. If they put a bounty on FERAL CATS then I would have to ring Mayne Nicks every time I went in the Tasmanian bush. 

    However I certainly am not going to spend the $1,000 fox bounty until I get it, also I hope Les and David have allowed in the time frame for C.P.I adjustment and inflation.

    Posted by ian rist  on  10/09/06  at  10:36 AM
  30. Phil, yes the Deloraine Field Naturalists (now Central North Field Naturalists) were aware of the allegation of fox cub imports in the Elizabeth Town area about a decade ago. They alerted DPIWE also and I even wrote to the Minister on this claim at the time.

    I certainly wasn’t aware of the explanation that you received; the reply I got was rather less informative.

    Paul Banfield of Bridgewater wrote a letter to the Mercury on 3 August this year. He said, “I personally have seen foxes in the Interlaken area [I presume Paul means the locality in Tasmania and not the one in Switzerland!], albeit many years ago while deer hunting with my father and some of his mates. I have not been deer hunting for at least 30 years so the foxes have had a long time to get established.”

    So has Tasmania had a small number of foxes that ‘get lucky’ in parts of the State where devils are in low numbers and 1080 poisoning of wildlife isn’t practiced?

    Phil, on your suggestion of a State-funded fox reward, I can tell you categorically that Minister Llewellyn isn’t going to buy in on that option. Why? Because according to Llewellyn’s fox advisors - it’s not worthwhile.

    The State Government has claimed the cost of laying the 80,000 fox bait is between $12 - $25 per bait. Now that IS worth someone’s while! 

    So, I guess it’s up to blokes like me and Les to stump up a cash reward. No calls yet, but I’ll keep you posted.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  11/09/06  at  08:50 AM
  31. Ian, shut up.  Every time I read your fox conspiracy posts I get all psycho and want to stab my eyes out with a fork.

    Posted by Geoff Rollins  on  11/09/06  at  09:12 AM
  32. Geoff, save the forks; if you can’t see the truth by now you are already blind.

    Posted by ian rist  on  11/09/06  at  10:33 AM
  33. Jeeze, I wouldn’t get out of bed for $1000.  If they’re fair dinkum, why not pay a decent bounty?

    Posted by Justa Bloke  on  12/09/06  at  04:51 AM
  34. There are no foxes in Tasmania.  The fox that was planted on Lillico straight was a joke.  That a fox was run over at night on that stretch of road is the most ridiculous thing that I have ever heard, the traffic there is non-existent.  Well done Les and David in attempting to end this ridiculous waste of public money.

    Posted by Don Notwood  on  03/10/06  at  12:05 PM
  35. hi Don,
    On 19 Dec last year at Lillico I saw the dead animal that was later identified as a fox. I’ve never ruled out the possibility that it was a plant, but I’m very eager to hear if you have any other reasons for your opinion apart from your claim that night traffic there is non-existent. I can tell you that on some evenings your non-existent traffic makes a hell of a noise!
    And how can you categorically claim there are no foxes in Tasmania? Is your middle name God?

    Posted by Raspberry  on  10/10/06  at  11:24 PM
  36. To those of you who may have caught the messages between myself and David , allow me to explain (I was going to use a more flowery word but i didn,t know how to spell it and Dr Who ? would once more have been up my nose)
      In 1973 i used to own a motor wrecking business in invermay and one monday morning a landrover belonging to one of the landed gentry of the state came in for parts for something or other and in the tray of the ule were three dead fox carcases, now in those days i wouldn,t have known whether they should be here or not and having not seen a fox before commented on the fact.
        the employee of said family said oh, yeah ! the’ve been breeding them since christ played full back for Jerusalem, for the fox hunts they hold on a regular basis, now it wasn,t until roughly 7—10 years ago that the whole fox debate raised it,s head and i, remembering the incident in 73 gave the story to the Examiner who duly printed same.
        I recieved many crank calls and some who said that they also were aware of the fact,also one call from a gent whose name escapes me however he said he was an official of some dept and demanded i tell him the name of said (landed gentry) to which i refused, for had they discontinued the practice i had no way of proving my assertion and therefore may have left myself open to libel.
        I hope that clears up somethings for those that are interested, i have no idea whether they still exist,or to the validity of the recent carcass, however I am here to tell you that they did in 1973. and you can make of it what you will.

    Posted by DON DAVEY  on  11/10/06  at  06:40 PM
  37. May a higher force have mercy upon your soul, Don Davey, for you shall now incur the unbridled wrath of His Eminence, Ian Rist.

    Posted by Geoff Rollins  on  12/10/06  at  07:08 AM
  38. Thank you Don. All these clues are relevant to the Tasmania Fox saga/drama - as it continues to unfold.

    Because of a lack of openess on the part of some groups and individuals, in the minds of ordinary Tasmanians, the matter remains termendously unclear.

    Independent historical information and PWS reports indicate that foxes have gained entry into Tasmania on previous occasions. The critical issues remain whether fox establishment of viable breeding populations has taken place and whether it is still possible to eradicate them.

    As Nick Monney sums it up, “Where have foxes got ‘lucky’ in Tasmania?”

    Did they initially get lucky in a captive pen somewhere (as Don is parhaps alluding), and if so why hasn’t any responsible Tasmanian come forward to expose this? What’s this saying about our human society and the values we operate with? Have we been so polarised and separate in this State not to share any “common ground” EVEN on this matter?

    If foxes exist as free-ranging ferals in some part or parts of Tasmania, why is there hesitation to act. Is it simply because of the lack of effective methods to detect and eradicate?

    Countering fox establishment in Tasmania needs both Top-down leadership and co-ordination AND bottom-up community engagement and action.

    If ANY fraternity or community in our society are made to feel alienated and pilloried then it is highly likely they will be part of an ongoing saga [war or dis-ease] and perhaps even escalating the problem; rather than being part of a necessary solution.

    I believe, no-one is denying that fox establishment in Tasmania is a very serious matter.

    The fox is constantly demonised and cast as the wily, cunning feral in this drama. Perhaps that description might best be reflected back on us all and the VALUES that underpin why we, as humans, do and allow to have done, the things we do.

    Some humans need to come forward and do something quite SIMPLE. Tell their TRUTH.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  12/10/06  at  09:10 AM

    Posted by DON DAVEY  on  12/10/06  at  10:56 AM
  40. Hi Raspberry,

    Of course I have no proof that it is a hoax, no-one has.  It is merely my opinion, if I did have I wouldn’t be sitting here typing this. 

    Isn’t it a coincidence that the fox was making his way over the highway toward the penguin rookery, but was miraculously struck by traffic before it caused havoc.  That sort of story would have drummed up plenty of support to aid the fox taskforce’s plight for more funding.  What a timely incident it was.

    How much roadkill have you seen on the strait?  I travel it often (as you would too I imagine) day and night, and I would say that it is minimal, if non-existent considering the amount of animals, partcularly rabbits, out at night.

    So, the chances of a fox being hit, to me, considering that no-one has a confirmed sighting, and there have been NO confirmed Tasmanian fox carcasses, and that Les and David’s reward still has not been ‘won’ would suggest to me that it is a poorly conceived hoax. 

    And if there is as much loud traffic as you suggest, what then of the foxes hearing?

    Posted by Don Notwood  on  12/10/06  at  01:17 PM
  41. David, never a more accurate quote has been forthcoming in this boring, never ending fox debate than your comment ” Some humans need to come forward and do something quite simple. Tell the truth”

    Two months into your fox reward and the thousand bucks seems safe, myself and many very experienced outdoor people I know have given it their best shot with no fox sightings or results.

      Don Davey I do not doubt what you claim to have seen that morning in 1973,but once again where did they come from?

      The good Tasmanian Environment Minister, when on a invited visit to my home in June 2003 saw three foxes in my fridge, fresh the previous night from the Mainland looking brand new and prepared for taxidermy.

    And as for comment #37 some people must have several appendages,they could not be that silly stroking one.

    Posted by ian rist  on  12/10/06  at  03:14 PM
  42. I bagged a fox the other night and thus claim the prize. It was a difficult encounter - I’m not that good looking and she was dressed to the nines. Had to rely on charm, close dancing and the lack of alternatives for her at that time of night. I guess I already got the prize that night but an extra $1000 would help. I can supply the photographic evidence but I am not sure that this is that kind of site.

    Tally ho!

    Tom Rignoli

    Posted by Tomas  on  12/10/06  at  03:22 PM
  43. Re #40
    Don, you may be right about a hoax; who knows? However, bear in mind that the fox was only a cub, and that when its remains were eventually peeled off the road, penguin feathers were also present.

    Posted by Raspberry  on  12/10/06  at  09:36 PM
  44. Ian Rist,
          you asked where they come from, obviously you didn,t fully take in my statement and that of the employee,s of said (landed gentry), however if what you are trying to do is to coax me into revealing the relevant info, sorry to dissapoint, but full marks for trying.

    Posted by DON DAVEY  on  13/10/06  at  03:33 AM

    Posted by Marilyn Watson ( MINNIE)  on  13/10/06  at  07:06 PM
  46. Well Minnie ,
            i do asume that you CAN read, !  I didn,t say there WERE STILL foxes,  so   i   am    
    writing this   slowly   so it   may   sink   in !
    i   said   that   I   BELIEVE   there   still  
    are   because   in   73   i   saw   three,  now   as   for   the   odd   little   puff,  never   used   to   touch   it   however   i   freely   admit   i     now   have   no
    such   aversion   to   the   odd   one   on   occasion ,  does   wonders for   my   stuffed   back !  pretty   good for   a   little   hanky   panky   also,  should   one   get so lucky !  NOW   !  i hope   that   clears   up any   “misconceptions”  that   you   may   have   attained.      (i   hope   that   big   word   wasn,t   TO   big   fo   you   to   understand) .

    Posted by DON DAVEY  on  14/10/06  at  08:54 AM
  47. Using 1080 to kill foxes is insanity, given “some” possibility of Tasmanian Tigers in the bush (and contrary to popular opinion, Tigers likely will eat bait if hungry enough).

    There are other methods, and as an experienced trapper and hunter (and biologist), I might be tempted to invest some time in this project, but $1000 is hardly motivating.

    At a bare minimum, the reward should be $10,000. Given the difficulty and lack of success to date, it’s not a get rich scheme by any means.

    Posted by David A.  on  20/10/06  at  05:03 PM
  48. The reward has been out there since mid-August and I can report that my fox field van hasn’t been called into action as yet.

    Remember the aim of this one-off reward is to get the proof that FFTF has wanted from 2001; namely the solid evidence that there are foxes living in Tasmanian environment.

    Many interested callers and emails have offered advice, information and opinion. Thanks to you all.

    I know that there are some public foxes watchers who see no value in this Fox Reward endeavour although I cannot understand how it could be any worse than the current ‘status quo’ situation. The Minister tells me his policy advisors see no merit. It get the distinct impression that they don’t want this reward out there. 

    So why?

    Maybe they see it as a no-win situation - for THEM. If a genuine person comes forward with freshly dead fox with unambiguous evidence showing a connection to a Tasmanian location, it may beg the question, why wasn’t this approach adopted 5 years ago?

    If no one responds to the reward; maybe it suggests that the 50 to 100 foxes that are now claimed to be out there are still too hidden to be shot by a skilled hunter. [I didn’t invite a person who runs over a fox to seek the reward because I really thought it was to fanciful; although Tasmania’s history with foxes shows it has been easier to run one over in this State than to shoot one with a rifle or a camera!.]

    Time will tell…....the reward still stands, please take this offer seriously.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  25/10/06  at  03:53 PM
  49. David Obendorf, do you know how much $$$ has been spent to date on the fox eradification program & specificially, where the monies have been directed? This should be a matter of public record (somewhere).

    Thanks in advance,
    David A.

    Posted by David A.  on  26/10/06  at  12:57 PM
  50. David why would certain people in high places be demanding you remove your fox reward?
    One would think the recipients of ongoing funding and others being finally assured that their ego’s and their paranoia were correct would be overjoyed at the indisputable,undeniable proof of a Tasmanian fox. Goodness THEY have moved Heaven and Earth to try and convince us all that there are foxes in the Tasmanian landscape.
    As you say time will tell,the longer it goes on the more the truth comes out as witnessed by the unfolding events of the Cleveland fox.
    I for one hope you don’t have to pay out,for several reasons.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  26/10/06  at  01:55 PM
  51. just thought i would throw in my last two penny’s.
    it really does get me down, having to read the relentless b/s opinions put up by only a couple of “foxes are not here” bloggers.

    as a receptionist in an east coast information centre. would you like to tell me why then, over the last couple of months,  visitors to the state who are oblivious to the bounty are reporting fox sightings??

    is it to give ian another excuse to have his 5 minutes of venting?? or is it because they are genuinely seeing foxes. people who have lived on the mainland for their entire lives and actually know what a fox looks like.

    come on ian just because you haven’t seen one yourself doesnt mean they are not hear. in my 24 years on this planet i have seen only 1! Eastern Spotted Quoll, does this mean it was the only one in the state or does it figure that they are quiet, reclusive, and good at what they do (hide)

    Posted by wood duck  on  29/10/06  at  03:15 PM
  52. Wood Duck (anonymous as usual,but appropriate) would you like to offer any reason why in the last five years not ONE fox sighting has been substantiated,not one fox has been shot by a small army of shooters and spot lighters that exist here in Tasmania,not one fox photographed by the FFTF’s remote cameras? etc.etc.
    “Road kill” foxes turn up mysteriously on the side of roads always at funding review times,or in the last instance on the very morning of the day there was to be a meeting to close down two branches of the FFTF?
    Could be sheer co-incidence but I don’t think so.
    Woody if you would like to do a spot lighting expedition one night I could take you to a couple of spots not far from you where I could show you twenty to thirty Eastern Quolls in a couple of hours,and Woody to conclude I would have shot more foxes on the Mainland than you have had Sunday dinners; twenty five of the buggers in one night as I recall.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  29/10/06  at  05:46 PM
  53. Woody I am not sure which Quoll you are talking about that you claim to have seen only one of, you said you had only have ever seen one Eastern Spotted Quoll. I have not encountered one of these either.
    The four species of Quoll in Australia are; Northern Quolls (Dasyurus Hallucatus) Western Quolls (Dasyurus Geoffoii) these two are Australian Mainland Quolls. In Tasmania we have Spotted Tailed Quolls (Dasyurus Maculatus) and the common Eastern Quolls (Dasyurus viverrinus) Maybe the mainland tourists you speak of may have seen an entirely new species Dasyurus Vulpes Vulpes.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  29/10/06  at  08:50 PM
  54. David A, regarding your question on expenditure of fox activities. I understand eradication and public relations via the FFTF has been funded for 4 years now. It’s difficult to get clear breakdown figures from DPIW on these matters but they do state that they have placed more than 80,000 1080 meat baits across Tasmania and the cost of putting those baits in place is stated as between $12-25 per bait.

    Up to the end of last financial year, I believe there have been allocations from State funding amounting to approximately $2.4 million (for staff & on-ground activities) and at least two allocations of $400,000 from the Commonwealth government. If you go into the Parliamentary Hansard for the most recent Budget Estimates, Debates and Questions on Notice on foxes you might find some more financials on foxes.

    Of course, a FFTF or DPIW person may like to give David a detailed answer to his question.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  30/10/06  at  07:45 PM
  55. Dave you are a bit out with your figures,according to the Legislative Council Hansard of Tuesday the 11th July 2006 where Mrs. Rattray-Wagner asked in questions upon notice for total Fox expenditure and the following answers were given.

    2002-2003 State funding $1,200,000.Federal $400,000

    2003-2004 State funding $1,200,000 No Federal

    2004-2005 State funding $1,200.000 Federal $400,000

    2005-2006 State funding $880,000   No Federal

    2006-2007 State funding $605,000   Federal $472,000

      It must be noted the $605,000 of State funding in 2006-2007 is one quarter of the $2,400,000 of State funding allocated to 2010 i.e $605,000 per year. A similar amount has been requested from the Feds. after the last Cleveland “road kill”

    In previous years about $120,000 was spent looking for the Burnie fox that DID jump ship at Burnie on the 31st of May 1998. In the fiscal year of 2001- 2002 according to Hansard approx. $600,000 was spent but came from N.P.W.S allocations. This did not include the Tasmania Police Task Force expenditure in 2001 that I believe was well spent but didn’t supply the answers some people wanted.

    I firmly believe even this monstrous amount of money so far expended would be well spent on foxes IF we were chasing real foxes and we were getting tangible results.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  31/10/06  at  09:55 AM
  56. thanks for the character assasination ian!
    i would expect nothing less.
    my humble appoligies for calling Dasyurus viverrinus a spotted quoll, when to anybody who cares know’s exactly what i meant, yourself included. as for the offer of a spotlighting tour i will sadly have to say i’m busy on that night.  a quick check of the fox task force sighting’s map will show about 70 excellent sightings, since 2001, as a keen hunter you would know that foxes will travel up to 10 km in a day if disturbed, quoting pete mooney ” gut samples taken from carcasses have shown to include endemic species of tasmanian fauna” and dna analysis has shown the foxes are of a different genetic pool to those found in the urban victorian area.

    Posted by wood duck  on  31/10/06  at  10:55 AM
  57. So, that’s over 5 million spent and not even one dead fox? 


    Posted by Don Notwood  on  31/10/06  at  10:18 PM
  58. Come on wood duck who are you? What is your play?
    You are trotting out stuff that has been disproven years ago; the DNA you refer to was from the anonymously mailed fox skin(very smelly) sent to the PWS office at Prospect of the fox that provided the famous Longford fox photo ( admitted publicly my PETE’S BROTHER NICK TO BE A HOAX) and the Symmons Plains fox (actually shot at Geelong, Victoria) At the time it was convenient to announce that the DNA had proven the two foxes to be related, possibly siblings. Sure they were closely related,they were possibly shot in the same paddock! Endemic Tasmanian species in a fox shot in Victoria???
    It is always the case in this fox saga that anonymity is usually preferred by those that are not sure of the facts or have agendas to promote.
    The lack of credibility in this fox issue has been caused entirely by a huge misrepresentation of the facts,speculation,many sightings that some people have genuinely mistaken as foxes,(one sighting I do believe was genuine was the Chris Spencer sighting at Illawarra Road Longford,possibly the Agfest container escapee in May 2001 and the definite sighting at Burnie Wharf May 1998)stupid hoaxing, the media being fed misinformation and the paranoia of a few where foxes are concerned.
    Based on possibly three known shipping container fox incursions (two alive,one dead) in the last eight years,three road side carcasses that could have come from any where (no driver has put their name up and said it was I) Please don’t quote me the Cleveland fox and that presently unfolding fiasco.
    Let us all do EVERY possible thing to keep Tasmania fox free, but PLEASE let us all deal in the facts.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  01/11/06  at  10:54 AM
  59. Thanks for the responses regarding funding.

    Given a destabilized Tasmanian Devil situation, I’m surprised approval was given to use 1080 laced baits.

    Does anyone care to guess how many of 80,000 poisoned baits would have been consumed by Devils? 1/2? 1/5? 1/10?

    Let’s assume 1/20, at a cost of perhaps 4,000 Devils. Note this is arguably a low estimate, since the poisoned carcasses would then be consumed by even more Devils.

    This argues for ONLY using 1080 in a very specific manner, such as when a fox is known to inhabit a localized specific area. Even then, it should be a LAST resort, given other methods and means.

    Posted by David A.  on  09/11/06  at  07:49 AM
  60. David A. this 1080 meat based baiting program will go down as the biggest F#*K UP in Tasmanian History, equalled only by the decision to put a bounty on the Thylacine in the late 1800’s.
    In both cases promoted by people with agendas.
    I have always said I am not against the amount of money being obviously wasted on foxes (if we have foxes) in Tasmania, but only if the money was spent on any other means other than meat based 1080 baits.
    In the early days conservationists were told a Devil would have to consume 16 baits and a Quoll about 8 baits to receive a lethal dose. Based on what research?
    We all must learn very slowly in Tasmania, it was President Nixon that banned 1080 in the 1972 because it was killing their National emblem the Bald Eagle through secondary poisoning, President Reagan allowed it to be re-introduced in very limited form in livestock collars to appease some of his rich western ranchers for wolf and coyote control.
    This fox saga has been the biggest con job I have seen done in this state other than the the Thylacine myth that has been promoted before and after it was declared internationally extinct in 1986. Sadly when poor old Benjamin died in a zoo in Hobart in 1936 there has not been one confirmed sighting in seventy years.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  09/11/06  at  10:09 AM
  61. David,

    At the workshop conducted a number of years back, a presentation was given by Dr. Laurie Twigg of the Western Australian Department of Agriculture on the risks of baiting strategies on non-target species. 

    Based on a 3.0mg 1080 bait and the range of Devil weight ranges, a Tasmanian Devil would need to eat 8-11 baits to get a lethal dose of 1080. 

    I hope this is useful.

    Posted by Tony Peacock  on  09/11/06  at  10:14 AM
  62. David,
          although having sighted those three original three carcasses in 72 , obviouly which were being bred in captivity ,i have come to the conclusion through evidence or (the lack of that) perhaps that the fox does not exist in the state, and perhaps my brief sighting of that which certainly appeared as such in Hobart “could” have been something other, of what i am not certain.
          I am concerned that any information i may have contributed along with other could have been instrumental in the use of 1080 which should along with all existing baits be removed immediately until absolute evidence of the establishment of same can be proven.

    Posted by DON DAVEY  on  09/11/06  at  11:35 AM
  63. What actual tests and research have been on the lethal dosage of 1080 on Devils and where were these tests conducted? If tests were done,were the Devils captive or wild? This is important as hungry animals react completely differently to well fed captive animals.
    Tasmanian fox baits are 3mg of 1080 per bait according to the Task Free Fox Force. According to their own literature Devils have a LD50 of 4.24 mg 1080/per kilo of bodyweight,so at 16 baits a Devil would need 48 mg’s of 1080. Bollocks,this is typical spin doctor stuff again to cover up yet another stuff up.
    I would not like to be a 3-4kg Devil that ate ONE 3mg fox bait,let alone a 2kg Spotted Tailed Quoll with a LD 50 of only 1.85 mg 1080/per kilo of bodyweight.
    Finally I would like to back the Tasmanian Devils scenting and detection ability against any carnivore I know of including the African Hyaena. I have personally witnessed Devils coming from five kilometres to buried sheep carcasses,excavating them and consuming them overnight.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  09/11/06  at  03:27 PM
  64. Ian, well stated.

    Regarding the Thylacine, another tragedy is the Government’s “made up mind”, that none survive today.

    For the naysayers, I highly recommend:

    as well as Col Bailey’s essays on this subject.

    At any rate, the continued widespread use of 1080 in Tasmania is a horrendous error of logic and biological control principle.

    Posted by David A.  on  09/11/06  at  05:03 PM
  65. The group formerly known as the Fox-free task force will soon have an extra 50-odd million to spend over a period of 10 years. 

    On what exactly, I ask?

    Posted by Don Notwood  on  13/11/06  at  03:37 PM
  66. Tony, thanks for the reference, but a lot of young Devils are fox sized & even those that are larger, I suspect might just take twice as long to die, etc.

    Note, while I used a conservative figure of 1/20th of baits consumed to guess the level of Devil disaster, Ian Rist is correct - they do have remarkable (if not unmatched) scenting abilities.

    Don, it takes guts to write that. I hope you’ll go one step further and bring this to the attention of the Fox Task Force or those who empower the FTF. Perhaps some Devils would thank you - if they could.

    Incidentally, (just to prove to myself I could still do it) I got within 20 metres of a fox last night…in the wilds of Arizona. I’d post a pic, but (somehow) my little DV camera battery was not up the task. How about that…another unconfirmed fox sighting!

    When I return to Tassie, I’d like to find your fox, but for $1000 $ (now $5000

    )...lemme’  think about it. I’d rather find Senor Tiger. Resurrection and Revenge for all concerned…

    Posted by David A.  on  13/11/06  at  07:38 PM
  67. Awesome, a thousand bucks for a fox produced killed in Tasmania?! At that price its worth grabbing one on the mainland next time I am over there, feed it some Tasmanian natives and kill it here. I’ll document it meticulously… the death that is, not the financially rewarded biosecurity violation.

    Posted by davej  on  17/11/06  at  10:30 AM
  68. Davojames don,t run the risk of the Bio-security violation and the $50,000 fine with a live one,just pick up a fresh dead one off the road, stuff in a native and pick up a grand. No law against bringing in dead ones or parts thereof.
    Then again Obendorf is a pretty smart pathologist and would be able to tell exactly how long it has been dead and how it died and more than likely where it came from.
    Can’t fund Nurses,dental care,hospitals,child protection and even clean drinking water in some areas but we can find 56 million to keep 1080 etc ...
    Judging from the flak on talk back radio and in the print media I think someone has made a huge political mistake AGAIN.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  17/11/06  at  01:07 PM
  69. Posting # 67 by davej…

    People who may have previously imported dead foxes into Tasmania as hoaxes and set ups perhaps have realised that there are very obvious and practical difficulties in trying to mimic a realistic incident involving the killing of a Tasmanian fox.

    Allowing a fox to decompose before notification will of course prevent clear conclusions of the circumstances that the fox met its death. It could have been frozen and stored then thawed and left to decompose for two or three weeks. In these circumstances a pathologist would not be able to tell from the carcass precisely what had happened or how it got there. That’s where the credibility of the person making any allegation of shooting a fox in Tasmania and the scenario alleged needs to be carefully assessed.

    Of course persons may manage to conceal a fresh fox carcass and decide to set up a road-kill scenario but in these situations ALL the evidences - forensic, physical site information, additional field evidence, witness statements with persons identifying themselves would need to be carefully asessed.

    The biological clock starts ticking after an animal dies; a dead body goes through a sequence of progessive decompositional changes. A pathologist would be able to see from an examination of the body whether it was consistent all the other evidences from the alleged incident.

    Material from a transportable biological sample like blood, a scat (faeces), hair or a decomposed carcass can confirm ‘fox’ by DNA technology, however, without additional confirmatory evidence from the location site, it on its own would be classified by a careful investigator as a suspicious piece of evidence.

    So davej, nothing beats the truth. And good forensic pathology can support the discovery of truth.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  01/12/06  at  02:19 PM
  70. Dave your incentive of a $1000 has been out there 4 months next week with no result.

    Just can’t imagine how with the speculated number of between two dozen and two to three hundred foxes alleged to be roaming Tasmania someone hasn’t relieved you of the thousand dollars.They must be sneaky foxes with the ability to turn invisible and only vunerable when crossing roads.

    But I have this strange premonition a shot fox is going to turn up shortly,as they say"watch this space”.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  08/12/06  at  08:34 AM
  71. Yes, where ARE the ‘real deal’ Tasmanian born & bred foxes, Mr Rist?

    Should I keep the $1000 reward open for another 6 months?

    Minister Llewellyn has just written to me to acknowledge that Mr Mooney’s authentication report on the Glen Esk Rd fox raised the possibility that this fox died “considerably earlier” and that the fox was “road killed earlier some kilometres away and repositioned”.

    The Minister for Foxes and Biosecurity goes on to write: “The possibility of an alternate, but not dramatically opposing conclusion, while unlikely, is not disputed. In short - I accept that there are differing points of view on some aspects of the evidence.”

    So, from adamant certainity - ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ about the evidence, now there is a lurch into ambivalence and uncertainty.

    But the propaganda media-sell has already had its effect Minister!

    On the day after the incident the three local papers were all emblazoned with headlines reading:

    “HARD PROOF - Autopsy on fresh carcass” - The Examiner

    “FOX-FREE? Not likely” - The Advocate

    “DEAD CERTAIN - the story behind the ‘real deal’ find” - The Mercury

    I just hope that the Commonwealth will require more rigor and certainty before they part with any “real deal” taxpayer money as their share in the $56 million dollar, decade-long Tasmania-wide fox eradication effort.

    I would recommend that Minister Llewellyn ask his department to become familiar with the concept of the ‘two-factor authentication test’.

    In my opinion - as a veterinary pathologist - the Glen Esk fox incident was a fabricated set up and a rather amateurish attempt at that. The unfortunate part about this incident was the Department appeared to be too easily convinced by the witnesses and others. But why?

    Mark Twain said:

    “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know FOR SURE that just ain’t so.”

    [Perhaps US President George Bush knows this one all too well by now!]

    And the investigative journalist, Upton Sinclair once said:

    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his NOT understanding it.”

    As an erstwhile public servant I say: “Yes, Minister.”

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  13/12/06  at  11:13 PM
  72. Mr.Obendorf by all means keep the reward open for another 6 months or even a year. After all this fox saga is about MONEY always has been. As a well known Federal Senator once said to me; this is not about conservation or foxes,it is about Politics and MONEY.
    A couple or three fox incursions thru’ the Ports that created severe embarrassment,then a “mountain made out of a mole hill” and always the propaganda originates from just a few.I have studied this fox saga long enough to know who said what. No results for a few years in the form of a genuine Tasmanian resident fox, but millions of dollars spent. Where has this money been spent? Some call it creative accounting, balancing projects.
    Get to the truth about the Cleveland fox, the blood spots at Rileys chicken coop and the Lillico fox cub remains. This could be all cleared up within a couple of weeks if Tasmania Police were allowed to become involved but it seems they are not allowed any where near the fox issue,WHY.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  14/12/06  at  08:45 AM
  73. Here’s to Tasmania remaining fox-free in 2007 and beyond.

    With the rearrangements of DPIW budgets to accommodate a larger FFTF (it gets inflated and deflated like a balloon) and with new management installed (no, it’s not Donald Rumsfeld) we may see different approaches taken.

    Separating the wheat from the chaff should be a No. 1 priority but that will require concessions in previous decision-making. It will also require a genuine and far more professional response to fox incidents and the gathering of physical evidence.

    In their most recent newsletter, the Tasmanian Conservation Trust highlighted the ‘continued lack of attention paid to [fox] biosecurity’. They highlight that ‘until this issue is dealt with, even the most efficient and successful eradication effort conceivable will be a waste of time and money. For whatever reason, the Tasmanian Government has yet to recognise this.’
    And whatever happened to the publicly floated concept of Feral Species Unit in DPIW? It seems we can continue to talk about the War on foxes but not allowed to mention feral cats or the growing list of well-established or establishing unwanted ferals.

    The ecological collapse that is Macquarie Island (Tasmania’s southern most territory) today was wrought by introduced species. Ten years ago Macca’s feral cats were considered the target for eradication; now the rabbits & rats are eating this sub-Antarctic island out of its unique biodiversity. Things are warming up literally and it ain’t easy but the decisions (or lack thereof) from public policy makers are being watched with interest.

    The way Tasmania - with a collapsing natural ecology - handles its feral perils and the onslaught of emerging diseases wiping out our native animals will be the measure of our people & our collective wisdom.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  23/12/06  at  07:35 AM
  74. According to a few reliable DPIW sources the peak natural resource Agency for Tasmania (DPIW) received more thylacine sighting reports from the general public in 2006 than they received fox sighting reports.

    Col Bailey has been calling for the upper Weld valley to be protected as a likely thylacine habitat.

    How amazing would it be if Tasmania rediscovered the thylacine!

    Just imagine that. It would make John Gay’s obsession with pulp mill on the Tamar look like a crazy dream.

    Also imagine if $56 million dollars was allocated over the next ten years to a Tasmanian animal for which - apparently - they were more reported sightings in 2006 than for the unwanted exotic mammal, the fox.

    How ironic and paradoxical is that?

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  10/01/07  at  11:44 AM
  75. The Thylacine,Tasmanian foxes,Yeti abominable snowman and unidentified flying objects and so on. Mythical and money making as they are we seem to have great difficulty in bringing any of them to hand.
    Crypto Biology I think they call it,the pursuit of these mythical creatures that may or may not be there.
    We have not and cannot produce a genuine Tasmanian fox,UNDENIABLE FACT, so a couple of recycled imports will have to do to keep the money machine ticking over and our life style intact.
    As much as I would give to see a wild Thylacine,I must be realistic and admit to myself they are gone,Tasmania is only a tiny place in the scale of things and sixty years without a substantiated sighting is just too convincing they are gone,sadly.
    As for the fox,patiently watch the Ports for the next arrival.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  11/01/07  at  08:29 AM
  76. Ian, you must read Robert Paddle’s fascinating book called “The Last Tasmanian Thylacine” (2000).

    Robert highlights many of the mistruths, over-exaggerations, unsubstantiated and misattributed claims made concerning the behaviours of the thylacine. The author explains that once a sensational mistruth was told and ascribed to the general literature (e.g. VDL Co. stock reports etc), subsequent researchers and authors just embellished and gilded the lily until the claim became canon fact and the basis for the targeted persecution of this creature by sheep farmers across Tasmania.

    Robert writes of the incompetent management at the Van Dieman’s Land Company through the release or escape of dogs from the sheep holdings and the deliberate gift of dogs to the Aborigines as being largely responsible for the sheep deaths on VDL Co. lands in the early decades after NW coast colonisation. Robert states that his research suggests that this wild dog problem - leading to sheep killings - was the ‘political reason’ why the thylacine and NOT the wild dog needed to be placed at the head of the first VDL Company bounty scheme.

    The thylacine was the political scapegoat animal for incompetent management when the London shareholders of VDL Co. had to be told something and the thylacine was conveniently blamed!

    Has anything changed? Could there be any similarities here?

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  11/01/07  at  02:13 PM
  77. David there are similarities here, I think the Wedge Tailed Eagle was blamed for many lamb “kills” as well. Fact is eagle and fox “kills” are a very high percentage of the time already dead or almost dead or very,very weak, sick lambs. A healthy ewe with a healthy lamb will see off most foxes and eagles. Exceptions are in the case of twins or triplets ( where fecundity drugs are used for a high lamb drop) and higher numbers of opportunities become available.
    Wild dogs and Dingoe cross breds are a different matter,these powerful feral predators can over power sheep and calves with ease. There are of course “rogue foxes” usually old adult males that become specialised lamb killers at lambing time.
    I learned a long time ago if we put out a food supply it naturally attracts predators,one cannot expect these predators to pass up easy meals. It all depends on who’s hip pocket nerve it affects,in my particular case it was feral cats that where killing my pheasant and partridge.
    Trouble is the darn feral cats shouldn’t be there in the first place,both feral cats and foxes are listed under tht Federal E.P.B.C. Legislation as “key threatening processes” and feral cats actually threaten more species of birds and mammals than foxes but cats are ignored and foxes are perceived as the “money earners”
    Type in AusStats invasive species sometime and see what the biggest threat to our NATIVE WILDLIFE is-the Feral Cat.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  12/01/07  at  10:51 AM

    [ABC - Radio News - Saturday, 13 January 2007. 11:05 (AEDT)]

    The deadline has been extended for an experienced Tasmanian hunter to produce a fox carcass and collect a bounty.

    Independent wildlife veterinarian Dr David Obendorf is offering $1,000 for hard evidence of established fox populations.

    He has been critical of the State Government’s $56 million fox eradication program.

    Dr Obendorf says although the community response to the appeal six months ago was strong, no one has produced a carcass.

    “We think that it’s still worthwhile to extend that reward and hope that somebody who is skilled, a skilled hunter who believes that foxes may exist in their environment, can come forward and claim this reward,” he said.

    The deadline has been extended until the end of the financial year.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  13/01/07  at  12:05 PM
  79. Ian, I am quite sure the Thylacine was still extant up to about 1970, and perhaps much later.

    My guess is a few small populations still hang on in remote areas, places where people seldom visit.

    Objectively, of course, you may be entirely correct. “We just don’t know…”

    Tasmania has these many enduring mysteries; it’s quite unfortunate the continued widespread use of 1080 is one of them.

    Posted by David A.  on  13/01/07  at  03:25 PM
  80. Dear David after observing the ‘fox’ debate for a considerable time I would appreciate some answers to   the following questions.
    1. What actual damage have the tasmanian foxes actually caused to our agricultural industry? Please guide me to appropriate scientific references.
    2. How many ‘fox’ carcasses were recovered from the areas affected by the recent bushfires? Did the volunteer firefighters report sightings of foxes fleeing the flames?
    3. What is the ratio of foxes to feral cats in Tasmania? Which species is most likely to cause the most harm - mainland States seem to be very concerned about cats but not the Tasmanian authorities. Should the same effort be directed to the cats as is being mustered for the foxes? Could the new resources be used to control both at the same time, perhaps saving duplicate costs?

    Posted by Mark Witcombe  on  22/01/07  at  07:15 PM
  81. I’ll try to answer your questions, Mark.

    1. What actual damage have the Tasmanian foxes actually caused to our agricultural industry? Please guide me to appropriate scientific references.

    The Invasive Animal CRC website is a useful place to start a literature search on this topic and I would suggest you also go for the older historical reviews by seasoned retired researchers who have been in the fox impact business for half a century or so. But you’ll need to read quite a few reference in order to made up your own mind on this. You also need to consider the affiliation and independence of the researchers on this topic.

    My prejudice is that the impact of foxes in the Australian environment is principally based on their adverse impacts to Australian biodiversity over a sustained period of around 150 years. Foxes are opportunistic carnivores that will take advantage of easy food sources if they are in abundance - native or introduced species. ‘Prey switching’ was one of the significance ecological concerns of introducing rabbit calicivirus to control rabbits in the late 1990’s. Getting rid of the rabbits was one thing but foxes can switch to other prey such as small native mammals.

    2. How many ‘fox’ carcasses were recovered from the areas affected by the recent bushfires? Did the volunteer firefighters report sightings of foxes fleeing the flames?

    I don’t know Mark, but I would suggest to you that if there were any found, the media of Tasmania would have been inundated with government PR on it.

    What I find puzzling is that the infra-red triggered digital cameras set up for both devil facial tumour work and fox hot spot investigations have not produced the definitive evidence of a date-logged picture linked to a Tasmanian bait station or sand trap site. This is especially intriqung as Nick Monney has confidently stated that there could be several hundred foxes now established in Tasmania. 

    3. What is the ratio of foxes to feral cats in Tasmania? Which species is most likely to cause the most harm - mainland States seem to be very concerned about cats but not the Tasmanian authorities. Should the same effort be directed to the cats as is being mustered for the foxes? Could the new resources be used to control both at the same time, perhaps saving duplicate costs?

    Good questions…but few sensible answers. I’d say even Nick Mooney and Sally Bryant will agree there are more real Tasmanian feral cats than foxes. My guess would be more cats by at least four orders of magnitude!

    You must remember though there is no money in DPIW for feral cat research so they do no monitoring of impact or risk assessment and therefore ignorance remains a state of bliss!

    Feral cats have probably been responsible for the near extinction of New Holland Mouse and the declines of endangered beach nesting sea & shore birds like the Hooded Plover and the Little Tern in Tasmania. Feral cats also love Little Penguins and shearwaters and other burrowing seabirds. Macquarie Island’s cat history is worth a review….but so too for the many sub-Antarctic Islands that have (or had) cats.

    Bottom-up efforts of community action has pushed Governments into addressing some of the feral cat issues locally. For example, the expensive Orange Bellied Parrot breeding program has probably been unsuccessful because of feral cat activity along their migration route to and from Tasmania.  Sadly captive-bred OBP are likely to be a very expensive way to feed feral cats. The King Island community is one community that is trying to control this impact with more than 100 feral cats caught in just 4 months.

    Foxes are clearly more likely to attract serious money for eradication ($56 million is the ambit claim of the current State Government) but interest in the existing and serious feral cat problem across Tasmania is given next to no recognition. Whilst ever the lure of big money for fox eradication remains very seductive, regrettably there will be little effort on cats.

    Mark you might need to come back in 10 years time when the fox money has been consumed and all the Tasmanian foxes have been successfully eradicated.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  23/01/07  at  01:51 PM
  82. For the Minister for Foxes & Biosecurity, David Llewellyn to suggest that the discovery of the warm carcass in August on Glen Esk Rd cleared away the last doubts of many sceptics (The Mercury 23 January 2007), he obviously found it convenient not to mention to The Mercury journalist, Phillipa Duncan about his Department’s considerable confusion amongst staff as to whether the fox was alive at the time it was supposedly ‘hit’ on Glen Esk Road, or about the uncertainty as to whether the said fox had actually died at THAT location after all!

    Sadly even an Upper House member of Parliament received incredible briefing material from the Minister’s Department to read into the official Hansard record on this fox incident.

    And now we are told of five scats with definite fox DNA found from this Central Midlands site provided by local landowners. Only days after the fox discovery at Glen Esk, the local landowners publicly called for aerial 1080 fox baiting to occur immediately.

    Surely any professional assessors of this whole incident would perhaps be somewhat questioning of the motives of locals also providing fox scats! Apparently this was not an issue for DPIW Managers John Whittington and Gary Davies.

    In the absence of a “two-factor authentication” process, such fox scat collections and their subsequent DNA testing (The Mercury 23 January) although very newsworthy needs to be considered in the context of previous set ups & hoaxes involving physical evidence from fox incidents in Tasmania. If some of these scat samples were indeed provided by local landowners then the trustworthiness of the collectors and the handling of such easily obtained evidence as fox scats needs to be carefully considered.

    I have offered a once-only $1000 fox reward to any skilled shooter who can come forward and produce a freshly killed fox living in Tasmania. If there are several hundred foxes now established in Tasmania, as we are told, then perhaps professional shooters should be encouraged by this genuine incentive.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  23/01/07  at  11:03 PM
  83. A brief point: I’ve observed feral cats preying upon Penguins on both Flinders and King Island(s). A bit disturbing given the little Penguins’ extreme vulnerability.

    Posted by David Alford  on  24/01/07  at  04:16 PM
  84. Yes David Alford…it’s perhaps no coincidence that the larger Little Penguin rookeries in Tasmania are on cat-free off-shore islands around Tasmania.

    The breeding rookeries at The Neck on Bruny Island, at Bicheno and along the NW coast are all subject to persistent feral cat predation unless feral cats are removed constantly. Contrary to the sensational dog attacks where several penguins are found decapitated or just killed, cats just sleathily work through a rockery…cut & come again, cut & come again…penguin deaths by a thousand cuts.

    Hence the extinction impacts cats cause when they establish on our off-shore islands!

    Is the feral cat ‘the elephant in the corner of Tasmania’s living room’?

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  26/01/07  at  07:11 AM
  85. Obendorf, when did you change rules? that is: “Subject to verification, a reward of $1000 will be paid to any person who can present a freshly dead fox killed only within the state of Tasmania.” to “I have offered a once-only $1000 fox reward to any skilled shooter who can come forward and produce a freshly killed fox living in Tasmania.”

    In other words, only “skilled shooters” are now eligible.  I suppose the fox has to be shot as well.  That’s a pretty good out for you.  Having doubts about this particular conspiracy theory of yours?

    Posted by rat is back  on  26/01/07  at  10:41 AM
  86. Rat can’t you read either? David has offered a reward of $1000 to any one that can produce a genuine fresh Tasmanian fox. Shot, trapped,drugged or mugged it doesn’t matter,more than you blokes on the dark side have been able to do. But then again you and your good old 1080 will enable you to say at the end of the day “well we fixed the fox problem,haven’t actually produced one poisoned carcass but we have sure spent a lot of taxpayers money”

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  26/01/07  at  07:23 PM
  87. Mr Rist, before you get your knickers too twisted, I had in mind the option of a fox being run over by a car.  If you have ever driven in rural areas on the mainland you would know that that was a reasonable proposition if foxes have established in your state. 

    Having muddied the waters, I think it’s Obendorf who needs to make clear the conditions associated with the reward, not you.  In his comment #83 it appears to have come down to bullets only and then only if fired by a “skilled shooter”.  What happens if the fox is shot by an unskilled shooter?

    Maybe I’m trying to show just how silly and childish the whole thing is?

    Posted by back rat  on  27/01/07  at  08:35 AM
  88. In response to Correspondent to #85, there’s no get out at all. Animal welfare considerations determine that even unwanted animals (such as the fox) are killed humanely (i.e. in a skillful and efficient way to minimize pain and suffering).

    This is a one-off reward only. Subject to the applicant for the reward accepting the need to be personally identified, to provide the supporting evidence and for the fox carcass to be examined, they will be eligible to receive that one-off reward. That’s it.

    Go for it!

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  27/01/07  at  10:04 AM
  89. Well then it’s a wonder the guy that “ran over” the Cleveland fox didn’t claim the reward. However we don’t want to go into that litany of lies again do we? Best hope it all blows over now the desired media shock has taken its intended effect. Me thinks though we haven’t heard the last of the “CLEVELAND FOX.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  28/01/07  at  08:46 AM
  90. Correspondent “Rat is back” and “Back rat” - I assume - are one & the same individual. Please, it would be helpful if you could divest your use of the rodent ‘mask’ - beautiful creatures that rats are - and be the person you are.

    Who hides behind such masks?

    Could it be that such ‘masks’ hide the identity of those who might wish to sustain Tasmania’s War on Foxes based on such contributions [#85 & #87]?

    Perhaps exposure might just be too illuminating!

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  30/01/07  at  07:19 AM
  91. Possibly the Rat doesn’t like the idea of your reward David because it is exposing the truth about the Tasmanian fox population.
    This of course would not enhance HIS chance of HIM getting HIS slice of the 56 million dollar cheese cake.
    If a reward had have been offered originally to expose the truth we all would have been seven or eight million dollars better off. The money could have been spent on Hospitals, Health and Childcare and the not so privileged, not just the privileged few here and in Canberra.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  30/01/07  at  08:22 AM
  92. For the record, I got a call late (Sunday) today from a woman near Lilydale who thought she had seen a dead fox on the road side. She called to alert me.

    When she returned to check the animal it was a big red coloured brush-tail possum with a large black bushy tail.

    Ihe important thing was that information on the fox reward is out there in rural Tasmania and I understand another person in Launceston has also offered a similar reward last week.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  11/02/07  at  09:58 PM
  93. Just for the record….Tassie fox-watchers might be interested to know that there are now three different $1000 rewards available on foxes in Tasmania.

    Firstly this Tasmanian Times reward - posted in September last year.

    Secondly, a reward offered by Mr Les Jackson, the owner of “Gumleaves” holiday resort near Little Swanport on the East Coast.

    And now a reward posted by Joan Prevost from Longford. She sent a letter to The Examiner last Friday telling those interested how to build a fox-trap baited with a live rooster to catch a live fox! Joan’s $1000 reward is for a live fox, so she’ll have ensure that the claimant is credible, convincing and prepared to be identified.

    The next task will be to link the captured fox to the location it was trapped in.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  13/02/07  at  10:25 PM
  94. The latest media - from The Advocate newspaper on the NW Coast - reports an Adelaide cyclist riding around Tasmania collecting money for Kidney Health Australia has seen TWO road killed foxes on in the Central Highlands of Tasmania.

    The cyclist, Ms Margie Raynor claims she saw a dead (road killed) fox near Tarraleah and then another fox near Lake St Clair - both on the Lyell highway last week.

    Sadly she didn’t have a camera and according to the FFTF spokesperson they do investigate such reports - they say they’ve received ‘many’ road kill fox claims this year but have failed to find any fox bodies.

    What does our State logo say? “Tasmania - Explore the Possibilities!”

    I guess the vehicle drivers who killed those foxes didn’t know about the three separate $1000 rewards currently on offer.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  15/02/07  at  07:20 AM
  95. Yeah,Yeah,Yeah. Poor old red arsed possums. The FFTF would have been there scraping the remains off the road if there was the slightest chance of another bit of “evidence” to put in the 56 million dollar file.
    Yet always it seems impossible for anyone to come up with a genuine live/dead fox or even a photograph of a live red fox. The media and the FFTF love it when these claims surface, this must be unsubstantiated claim number two thousand nine hundred and ninety nine.
    There could be twenty dead foxes on road sides in Tasmania,these easily transported items are not an indicator of any population.
      Years ago some dead,intact rabbits were found on a road side on King Island,caused a lot of people in the then Ag.Dept. to have a major orgasm. King Island has no rabbits.
    It was proven to be a hoax.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  15/02/07  at  08:08 AM
  96. While I would not want to detract from the good work Margie Raynor is doing riding her bike for kidney health I think claiming she saw TWO roadkill foxes in Tasmania is a bit over the fence.

    Wanting to create some publicity for her kidney health ride is fine but emailing The Advocate,The Examiner and The Mercury with this bizarre claim is another thing.

    Any way it appears only The Advocate took the bait; to quote Margie from her blog

    ” I sent an email to The Advocate about two foxes I saw as roadkill and -surprise, surprise-they responded. To be honest,they were more interested in the foxes than about my ride but I managed to give them enough information about the ride and about kidney health,plus I said The Examiner and The Mercury weren’t interested,and I think that sparked some interest. Truly I never heard or thought of the word ‘parochial’ before I came to Tassie. The article in The Advocate was pretty favourable,even though it focused more on the fox roadkill than kidney health,but at least there was some mention of the reason I’m cycling.”

    Its a pity Margie didn’t photograph either of the “foxes”. It appears she photographed just about everything else on her ride - maybe the camera wasn’t working that day.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  17/02/07  at  04:23 PM
  97. The famous (& infamous) circus charlatan and trickster,  P.T. Barnum used to say, “there’s a sucker born every minute”.

    Ol’ PT was THE ring-master of spin, flim-flam and exaggerated sensationalism…but it really worked! People in their droves coughed up their hard-earmed money to enter his big top & see the show.

    Margie got coverage for her Kidney Health Tassie cycle, free publicity for the FFTF, and I guess it sells The Advocate too!

    With most moble phones having the option to take & send images - it’s a wonder Margie didn’t ride back to these road killed foxes and take the images…it could have been worth her while!

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  19/02/07  at  09:24 AM
  98. I must stand corrected on the discoverers of the animal scats found on properties in the Conara-Cleveland area recently. DNA testing of the scats resulted in ‘traces’ of fox DNA being detected.

    I’ve been told with some authority that FFTF biologist Nick Mooney personally found at least one of these scats and the others were found by FFTF staff. That changes the perspective. So I apologise for suggesting that these scats were found by the local farmers themselves.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  25/02/07  at  01:04 PM
  99. The endemic long tailed mouse evidence was found in the stomach contents of the Bosworth fox ...
    The October 2003 road kill at Burnie,as just about everyone in Burnie knows,was killed on board and dumped outside the Port facilities to avoid the disruption to the Port the May 1998 fox incident caused. This carcass became the absolute proof of fox establishment.
    A very long pause then in the evidence trail until February 2006 when the 2 month old squashed remains of a fox cub are discovered on a busy Lillico road. Discovered after the mystery Canberra cyclist ‘phoned in and said she first saw the cub there on xmas day 2005.This is the cub that had it’s jaw bone proudly displayed in The Macquarie street office days before the public announcement.
    Then we have the invisible fox at Rileys chicken yard,not being able to be photographed or detected for five days but able to sneak in and leave spots of blood that are discovered and sent away to Canberra and analysed.
    Then we have the clincher,the already dead, warm fox that ran out from the left hand side of the road and was struck by a vehicle on Glen Esk road.  It seems now the initial media shock is over it has been proven that fox is quite a lot older than first claimed.
    Then we have the five scats,reported in the media as being discovered by land owners.
    For nearly ten years we have had hundreds of unsubstantiated fox sightings,fox “evidence” appearing on road sides, but not one genuine Tasmanian fox shot,trapped,poisoned or even photographed. Why?
    Because the evidence trail is the result of hoaxing and/or fabrication.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  26/02/07  at  08:21 AM
  100. Another alleged fox sighting occurred recently. A person claims he saw a brazen fox cross the Midlands Highway just between the Perth Bridge and ‘Leighlands’ junction to Evandale…. at 11 pm at night.

    Maybe with the deer season opening on March 3 - there will be some hunters out there who might just ‘get lucky’ and come forward to claim one (or all) of the fox rewards currently in place.

    Hoaxers and fabricators need not apply!

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  26/02/07  at  11:46 AM
  101. #99 by Ian Rist is yet another of his garbled and slanted summaries of reported fox sightings. This latest leads to a typically Ristian broad-brush conclusion that “the evidence is the result of hoaxing and/or fabrication”. No qualifiers, no shades of gray. (If David Obendorf’s rigorous standards for evidence were applied to the writing in this thread, it would dwindle to a trickle.)

    I would like to know exactly how he can be so sure about this, “the evidence is the result of hoaxing and/or fabrication”, in relation to the cub at Lillico which I saw on 19 December 2005 when it was dead (or out of the freezer) no more than a day or two. Is he accusing me of dumping it there? If not me, then who is he accusing? And whose Macquarie Street office is he referring to?  He should put up or shut up and learn to live with uncertainty.

    By the way, for what it’s worth, the cub I saw wasn’t missing its jawbone.

    “One small fact is worth a thousand grand opinions.”

    Posted by Raspberry  on  02/03/07  at  09:57 PM
  102. Raspberry who ever you are, and I am pretty sure I know exactly who you are hiding under your psuedonym. Why don’t you come out and be a real person and comment under a real name?
    You don’t deserve this explanation which I have explained many times before in relation to the Lillico cub remains; this was a very young cub and if it was a genuine road kill on site, where were its siblings,where are the natal dens it was being reared in,where were its parents? No scats were identified as fox that were collected from that site and not one scrap of supportive follow up evidence was found at that site.
    No I am not accusing you of dumping it there,but I am wanting to meet you.
      I challenge you “Rasberry” to a public debate on the fox issue,any where and any time. So I suggest you put up or shut up.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  03/03/07  at  04:52 PM
  103. Re # 102, there’s no rule against using a pseudonym on this blog. In my view, what counts is the quality of a person’s contribution, not their name. People who know me well take me seriously enough and I’m happy with that.

    The phrase “You don’t deserve this explanation” is typical of the scornful and derogatory remarks that Ian often makes about people, as distinct from their arguments, who disagree, or who he assumes disagree, with his version of ‘the fox issue’—whatever that is; it’s a bit hard to pin Ian down on specifics. He ducks and weaves all over the place.

    He should reread #101 in which, in response to his blanket assertion that the evidence is the result of hoaxing and fabrication, I asked him who he was accusing of fabricating the Lillico evidence. Now at least, he has eliminated me from his list of suspects (not that I care) but again he has ignored my other main question: Who is he accusing? Instead he falls back on the absence of any other evidence. That’s very shaky ground for a fabrication theory.

    I’m not interested in a public debate. I’m simply interested in putting the record straight on this blog (which anyway is a public debate) about the Lillico sighting. I’ve never ruled out the possibility that it was a hoax. Why can’t Ian admit the possibility that it wasn’t?

    Posted by Raspberry  on  04/03/07  at  02:51 PM
  104. Raspberry - who ever you are - do you understand the concept of two factor verification?

    If you do, do you accept it as a useful means of improving the quality and perhaps more importantly the authenticity of physical biological evidence that relates to foxes in Tasmania?

    One piece of biological evidence - scat(s), blood, hair, a whole carcass, a footprint may be the ‘index’ discovery at a particular site but the clincher will when and where - within the same timeframe and location - you can recover additional corroborative evidence that links both pieces of evidence to that site.

    A careful review of all the hard evidence incidents that DPIW and the FFTF uses to support its contention that foxes have established in Tasmania have not - in my opinion - satisfied the two-factor verification test.

    The reason for initiating this $1000 fox reward was an attempt to improve that verification process. Strangely the State Government pours scorn on this effort and I don’t know why.

    As to the use of pseudonyms, can I suggest that it makes so much more sense if individuals indentify themselves in these sorts of dialogues. Allegations and confident assertions can be made under the cloak of annonymity; hearsay can be offered up as corroboration and personalities can hurl insults at one another…but to what effect? Is it to win a debating point or to offer some contribution of clarification or to advance the aim.

    No-one wants to see foxes established in Tasmania. All I’m seeking - and Ian Rist too - is the truth in discovering whether the evidence about foxes collected in Tasmania satisfies internationally agreed standards for authenticity.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  05/03/07  at  07:30 AM
  105. “Rasberry” YOU are using double standards here,I guess it is easy to do that when you hide under a cowardly psuedonym.
    I am though satisfied as to the reasons for your thinly veiled comments on this site,and do not intend to waste any more of my time on you as you will not engage in a face to face debate.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  05/03/07  at  08:25 AM
  106. David you are absolutely correct,the two factor verification has never been forthcoming.

    Always it has been spectacular sensationalism and never any follow up evidence.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  05/03/07  at  08:40 AM
  107. I can’t see the point or relevance of David’s questions in this current context, (he is a tad opaque sometimes) but I’ll respond anyway in case I’m missing something.

    To be honest, I’ve never heard of the two factor test. However, like all surveyors, I was an expert at finding, recording, interpreting and weighing evidence of existing land boundaries. Surveyors go about these tasks in the knowledge that they might, in the case of a dispute, have to present their work to the scrutiny of a court. Therefore the essential attributes of evidence that surveyors record are its physical characteristics, its age (estimated or known), its position, and its provenance (the previous survey). Could this be four-factor verification? David’s two factor test sounds like a bare minimum.

    Nevertheless, there are cases where the evidence is very thin but you have to make a decision and go with the consequences. In the case of a minister having to make public policy about fox eradication, what does he or she make of the large number of random widespread sightings that are reported? Can they all be wrong?

    As for Ian’s # 105, I could take it to pieces but what’s the point? Readers will make up their own minds. I only came back to this thread because he wrote a piece which in part (a) implied the possibility that I was guilty of hoaxing and/or fabrication, or else (b) contained faulty reasoning. I wanted to set the record straight on both counts. For my pains, my poor pseudonym is insulted as cowardly and my comments are called thinly veiled. That last is a worry; I try hard to write clearly.

    For the record, I have no connection with anyone involved in, nor any financial interest in, the fox eradication industry.

    Posted by Raspberry  on  06/03/07  at  11:47 PM
  108. Random widespread sightings of foxes in Tasmania.
    The last known Thylacine died in the old Hobart zoo on the 7th September 1936. Since then there have been thousands and thousands of “sightings” but not one piece of physical evidence. As yet not one sighting has been confirmed.A few people I have spoken to and have confidence in believe they have seen a Thylacine,one a retired ranger in 1952 and my uncle that saw two half grown Thylacine enter a wombat hole in 1945. I have great respect for Col.Baileys tenacity when it comes to Thylacine matters and hope what he saw in 1967 was indeed a Thylacine.
    Could it be possible we have two very cryptic animals in Tasmania,the Red Fox and the Thylacine.
    As there is plenty of easily transportable evidence available on the mainland of Red Fox, maybe, just maybe that is where the similarities of Thylacine and Red Fox end.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  07/03/07  at  09:08 AM
  109. Thank you for your input to the Fox Reward stream, Raspberry. Yes the two factor verification test could be seen as a minimum standard to apply, but if properly applied it will build confidence in linking the physical evidence logically to the site at which fox ‘hard evidence’ is found.

    And if properly assessed it should convincingly sort out any plausible hoax or fabrication scenario. With a small pool of people to do the work, little wonder these jobs always fall into the same hands.

    Several senational leaps of faith have occurred with the handling of the Tasmanian fox events. I have tried to assess each one for corroboration and some other evidence stream that authentically links the discovery of the evidence to a particular site and timeline.

    The State Government fox eradication ambit budget is now $56 million….big money. All I am looking for is certainty in the application of the fox risk management based on properly applied policies & procedures for fox risk assessments.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  08/03/07  at  10:44 AM
  110. Currently Tasmania is importing approximately 7000 tonnes of feed grain into Tasmania in shipping containers. These consignments finish up being delivered directly to farms across Tasmania as stock feed for dairy cows, feedlot cattle, and wool sheep and extensively-run beef cattle, especially in drought years. This is the figure quoted by CEO of the Grain Elevators Board today, Friday 16 March 2007.

    Up until very recently all these feed-grain shipments were coming into Tasmania by this very risky method. These poorer grades of grain - infested with rodents (and attractive to foxes) and unadequately assessed for unwanted weeds - are being delivered directly into rural Tasmania.

    So if you wanted to look for foxes in Tasmania, consider the locations where every year thousands of these consignments have been and are being delivered into rural Tasmania - such as Powranna (beef feedlot), near stock feed millers (such as Carrick) and large dairy farms (on the NW coast).

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  16/03/07  at  03:08 PM
  111. In response to Ian Rist’s rather ignorant comment of 17/2/07, it’s a pity, Ian, that you didn’t continue to follow my website. When I returned to the mainland and cycled to Sale, I met two men from Tasmania who were sent by the Tasmanian government to the Gippsland area to study fox habits. Apparently they were taking the results of their research back to Tasmania.

    “But, according to Tasmanians, you don’t have any foxes,” I said cheekily.

    “Oh, they’re there, all right,” one of the men responded. “It’s just that Tasmanians don’t want to admit it.”

    Amazing, isn’t it, that the Tasmanian government will spend money on sending two field researchers to Victoria to study the habits of an animal that supposedly doesn’t exist in Tasmania?

    So, Ian, please do not make sweeping assumptions that I am merely looking for publicity. I wouldn’t be cycling alone in some isolated and sometimes downright dangerous situations if I was merely looking for publicity. How dare you make that kind of assumption. I find your comment downright insulting but, sadly, not surprising.

    Posted by Margie Raynor  on  16/03/07  at  06:26 PM
  112. It is a pity you hadn’t noticed any of the several hundred fox free signs around the state Margie,and you didn’t pick up the fox carcasses,or at least photograph one of them.
    At a thousand dollars a carcass you could have made a healthy donation to a worthwhile cause.
    As for seeking publicity,you have said that on your own website;

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  17/03/07  at  07:58 AM
  113. Margie Raynor, did you manage to report the two locations where you made your sightings to the Fox-Free Taskforce on their 1300 FOX OUT number - 1300 369 688?

    Margie, did you have the opportunity to perhaps take any pictures - with a digital camera or on your mobile phone - of these dead foxes?

    Could you please advise this website? I’m sure if you have authentic digital images of road-killed foxes in Tasmania taken during your recent cycle tour, the Tasmanian Times would be delighted to publish them.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  17/03/07  at  01:02 PM
  114. Ian, please read my whole comment next time before you respond to one tiny piece. As for picking up fox carcasses while I am travelling around the country, the thought makes me sick (although I enjoyed a huge laugh as well).
    If Tasmanians like yourself want to remain ignorant of their fox problem, so be it. I have better things to do with my time.
    The Tasmanian government obviously haven’t better things to do with their money. Instead of sending people to study fox habits in the mainland states, may be they should send a few of their workers along their highways. You might like to volunteer, Ian. The exercise, at least, would be worthwhile.
      don’t think you can say that I am not making a healthy donation already. You might like to make a generous donation to Kidney Health yourself.

    Posted by Margie Raynor  on  18/03/07  at  09:38 AM
  115. If and when I shoot or capture a Tasmanian fox, Margie Raynor, I will donate the $1000 reward to your kidney health appeal.You have my word,in fact I will insist Dr. Obendorf directs it straight to you.
    Problem is I have exhausted places to look for the fox,could you give me a clue?
    Having spent most of my life professionally and competively shooting here in Tasmania,the Mainland of Australia and overseas I would say I do KNOW a bit about foxes,having shot thousands of the little red rascals. But sincerely if the reward was one hundred thousand dollars I wouldn’t bet on collecting it. I guess we could say there is 56 million dollars swinging on a genuine Tasmanian fox and the fox boys can’t seem to produce a genuine Tasmanian fox to seal that deal.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  18/03/07  at  12:06 PM
  116. I am all for saving the native wildlife of the world but I am also opposed to the killing of anything.  I believe that all creatures have a right to survival, otherwise they wouldn’t be here on God’s Good Green Earth to begin with.  It’s not the fox’s fault that it was introduced into a foreign land.  Foxes are used for the soul purpose of hunting, have been for too long.  I wouldn’t be one for quids, but in this day & age there are plenty of foxes amongst the human population…being attacked!  I sympathise.
    There are also the other type of human foxes, the predators!

    Posted by Paula Michael  on  03/04/07  at  11:55 AM
  117. Well Paula, your philosophy is an all too common variety of “Nature Hating”. You are, in effect, saying Nature is wrong/bad.

    Nature depends fundamentally on killing otherwise entire ecoystems would collapse in very short order without the flow of energy. Indeed, all higher Life (as well as virtually all lower Life) would be impossible.

    As far as our species, we also must kill which we all do so by default as vegetarians (yes, grain and veggies require a rather astonishing amount of environmental death) or steak lovers.

    In the case of the fox, if it gains a foothold in Tassie and we did not kill/eradicate them, we would still have blood on our hands for taking no action in lieu of the native fauna holocaust that would follow.

    At any rate, if you reject death in Nature, you are rejecting Life. Fact.

    Posted by David Alford  on  03/04/07  at  05:46 PM
  118. 1080 soon to be in use in the Anson’s Bay area by Forestry Tasmania.

    Launceston mayor Ivan Dean is taking action to investigate the so-called proof of fox carcases in Tasmania as he believes that the evidence does not stand up.

    This farcical chain of events will soon be seen for what it is.

    Posted by Don Notwood  on  18/04/07  at  08:54 AM
  119. De ja vue…I always told you so.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  18/04/07  at  12:22 PM
  120. And 1080 will be used in the WOJ Nat’l Park in an effort to kill a pack of wild dogs…I’m certainly not in favor of a wild dog pack, but jeeze’ it seems 1080 will never go out of favor here.

    Posted by David Alford  on  19/04/07  at  10:53 PM
  121. The original fox carcass found near Conara with the remnants of a Tasmanian native mouse in its gut found ONLY in Tas (the long-tailed mouse) seemed strong evidence.I have spoken to the person who identified the hair from this species and there seems little doubt this was done professionally and correctly. Only problem is that previously, the mouse has not been located within 50km of where the fox was…..

    Posted by Randy Rose  on  25/04/07  at  07:21 PM
  122. If foxes are here in low numbers as the FFTF suggests, then it’s likely that the use of 1080 to kill wallabies & possums for the last 50 years -  in their tens of thousands per year -  has also likely been a killer of foxes as well. Foxes are as sensitive as dogs to secondary 1080 poisoning from eating carcases killed from eating our blue carrots!

    Where might foxes get lucky and establish in Tasmania? Where 1080 isn’t being used - in National Parks, the high country, the World Heritage Areas AND places where they don’t have competitors/predators.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  25/04/07  at  11:04 PM
  123. Is there any data showing secondary poisoning kills dogs in the manner you are suggesting might occur for foxes?

    Posted by David Alford  on  26/04/07  at  04:38 PM
  124. David Alford, if you Google 1080 and dogs you can do your own research on this topic. The Lethal dose (LD)50 and LD95 sensitivities to 1080, experimental exposures and clinical case studies involving dogs due to accidental 1080 exposure from ‘secondary poisoning’ are available. The same goes for technical information on foxes in 1080 reviews of its use as a vertebrate poison in various parts of the world.

    The great difficulty for Tasmania is that DPIWE and its chemical analytical testing arm does not, has not and will not investigate unusual or suspicious 1080 poisonings involving threatened species or companion animals. It is up to the submitter to pay for the testing and this would require submission of samples to an interstate or overseas toxicology testing laboratory.

    Please ring me if you need to.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  27/04/07  at  03:17 PM
  125. Thanks for that. Here is a link for a debate right here in TT:


    Posted by David Alford  on  28/04/07  at  12:49 PM
  126. The problem with throwing money at the “Fox issue” is that the extra funding compounds the problem, the longer the foxes are here or are brought in, the more funding it gets. Thus there is no real reason to solve the problem. More people are getting paid to find and investigate, why would you want to make yourself redundant? Better to depend on volunteers, rather than financing an anti-fox industry!

    Posted by ridofredtape  on  30/04/07  at  03:25 PM
  127. Ridofredtape, you make a relevant point and one that hasn’t escaped many others as well. It has amazed me that the Department managing this program has not embraced the community to assist them in their endeavours to investigate so-called fox hot-spots and to assist in control programs. On the Australian mainland farmers can buy Foxoff 1080 baits direct from the retailers and deploy them on their properties.

    We hear from DPIW officials that they are denied access to some rural properties in the Midlands where the Taskforce wishes to deploy 1080 fox baits. Apparently that attitude, according to the Taskforce, is ‘fair enough’. But hang on a bit, if you bait on the basis of permitted access then what’s the fox control strategy on the properties where access for fox control is refused?

    If this was a serious eradication program, I would have expected a far higher level of community compliance backed up by some statutory powers. If the fox is a notifiable unwanted animal, doesn’t that give the Department powers to enter & control? If there are these sorts of holes in our fox eradication strategy then little wonder many might feel the program isn’t complete or genuine.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  04/05/07  at  02:59 PM
  128. My first response to #127 is: Isn’t this typical of the way we are governed in Tasmania? That is, pass a law to satisfy public demand and then allow all kinds of exemptions and ministerial discretions for people and businesses that might have influence with the decision makers.

    But then, before I allowed indignation to kick in, i read your post more carefully, and this time reason wanted to know:
    1   What’s the provenance of your report? For instance: Is ‘we’ yourself? Or was the source hearsay and if so was it reliable?
    2   Were the officials speaking “off the record”?
    3   Does anyone in the chain have an axe to grind?
    4   How many instances were there? You mention rural properties but they might all belong to the same owner.
    5   Did the comment “fair enough” actually come from the Taskforce or is it your interpretation of their attitude?

    And presumably, the Act or regulations that govern the FFTF might require its officials to give notice to landowners, or even acquire a warrant, before they can enter a property. I think we would all hope so. Perhaps failure to follow such a procedure gave rise to the denial of access?

    I’m not questioning David’s integrity but some elaboration on these points would enable a more accurate judgement of this report.

    Posted by Raspberry  on  05/05/07  at  09:24 AM
  129. Welcome once again Mr “Raspberry” - who ever you are - back into the fox commentary.

    For the record, I think I’m correct that ‘Raspberry’ is an pseudonym or alias used by the person who also claimed seeing & reporting the dead fox pup on the side of the Bass Highway at Lillico in mid-December 2005.

    In relation to your questions in #128

    Question 1. The ‘we’ are any persons who care to listen, read and interprete the comments provided by spokespersons for the FFTF. The ‘provenance of the report’ are members of the Taskforce interviewed on public radio.

    Question 2: No, the official was speaking’on the radio’ but then maybe it was an injudicious remark best left ‘off the record’ but it certainly was made to a public audience.

    Question 3: “Does anyone in the chain have an axe to grind?” What ‘chain’ are you referring to Raspberry? Anonymous commentators can reposte to identifiable individuals but then what will it take for the dialogue to become genuinely open?

    Question 4: How many instances do you need, Raspberry?......the refusal to allow access is either bluff & bravado on the part of the owner of a particular property or it is a right he exercises because there is now statutory power to give DPIW personnel access to lay 1080 fox baits. Alternatively, is it a convenient, publicly uttered ‘excuse’ to air when in fact there is a precise power to enter and lay baits? I use the word ‘convenient’ in that it may serve merely as an reactive explanation. Which is it to be? Maybe, Raspberry if you are close to the ‘powers-that-be’, you could come back with an ‘official’ clarification.

    Question 5: See reply to Question 2.

    Raspberry if you’re interested to follow up on any of these matters, Raspberry please give me a call.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  06/05/07  at  11:19 AM
  130. David, Thanks for the details.

    No, I’m unable to elaborate on the Taskforce’s powers of entry. I assume they are spelt out in whatever legislation controls the Taskforce’s operations. All tasmanian legislation is on the Web somewhere.

    As for being close to the powers that be, I’m about as far removed as anyone could be! I did contemplate applying for one of the positions that were recently advertised, but the thought of performing in “1080 on the Island” was too much for me.

    Posted by Raspberry  on  08/05/07  at  02:57 PM
  131. I’ve been told the chicken-killer at Old Beach in May last year was a canine and not a fox. If that’s factual, it would fit with all but the media propaganda and the ‘fox DNA’.

    If anyone has some knowledge on this topic, please contact me by phone or email.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  24/05/07  at  06:42 PM
  132. David, I was told by a very reliable source that the lady next door to Phil’s (site of alleged mass chicken-fox kill) at Kathleen Drive Old Beach actually shot the “Old Beach fox” which was in fact a small foxy looking DOG. This dog and another had been killing chooks in the area for two months before being dispatched. The lady apparantly spoke to FFTF but they weren’t at all interested in discussing the possibility it was a dog and not a fox responsible for the chook killing. The vital clue at the time was the fact that all the water in the chook yard had been had been drunk by thirsty chook chasing dogs.
    So was the blood sample fox,if so how did it get there? If it was some other blood contaminated by fox urine why wasn’t this explained?
      Made wonderful reading at the time leading up to the budget and the release of the fox review.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  25/05/07  at  09:38 AM
  133. Mrs. Rattray-Wagner asked in questions upon notice for total Fox expenditure and the following answers were given.

    2002-2003 State funding $1,200,000.Federal $400,000

    2003-2004 State funding $1,200,000 No Federal

    2004-2005 State funding $1,200.000 Federal $400,000

    2005-2006 State funding $880,000 No Federal

    2006-2007 State funding $605,000 Federal $472,000

    Honorable Sir,
    You want fox - me give.
    How many dozen you want?
    What colur?
    Waht siz.
    Me happi to suppli
    You pay in US Dollars, yes?

    Han Kipan Ki.

    PS. What is fox?

    Posted by Gerry Mander  on  25/05/07  at  03:16 PM
  134. Three $1000 fox rewards - one topped up with an extra $100 from a former politician - and still nothing. I understand many commercial shooters across the State know about the rewards and they’re spotlighting in the places where the Taskforce claims to have numerous ‘excellent’ sightings of animals resembling foxes.

    The Commonwealth have blinked on giving at least a first yearly installment on Minister Llewellyn’s 10-year poisoning campaign to rid the island of foxes - $2.8 million will be well appreciated no doubt.

    What is incredible is that Tasmania’s war on foxes is not supported with any statute compelling property owners to allow free access to their lands for 1080 fox baiting. This means that the use of the only tool in this FOX ERADICATION program is completely arbitrarily applied and reliant on voluntary participation.

    How can such a strategy be effective for eradication?

    Perhaps they argue that the ‘Precautionary Principle’ demands the use of these baits - the only effective tool they have to kill free-ranging foxes….hence the laying of 4,500 baits in the Gladstone area in NE Tasmania recently.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  05/06/07  at  12:04 PM
  135. This FOXGATE will go down as one of the biggest scandals in Tasmanian history.
    Millions of dollars spent on foxes that have not been proven to exist.
    Simple formula: find a dead fox on the side of a Tasmanian road, doesn’t matter how it got there because it’s good for another couple of million dollars of tax payers’ money.
    We have ended up with an industry set around foxes,the Thylacine (REMEMBER 1982?)and what ever else can be used to rort a few dollars to keep bums in seats. I don’t know how the main players sleep at night.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  05/06/07  at  01:07 PM
  136. According to the ABC TV news tonight (5 June) Commonwealth Environment Minister, Mr Malcolm Turnbull has given $1.5 million for the next year to the fox eradication program in Tasmania.

    Senator Abetz states that if Tasmania is still trying to eradicate foxes in 10 years time, it will have failed. In other words if there are foxes established in Tasmania, these Commonwealth allocations need to be reviewed annually based on DPIW’s success at finding where these foxes are and hopefully tangible proof that they have been killed.

    By this approach it seems that even the Commonwealth may have realised the need to give out their allocations very cautiously. Hopefully they will be asking that all FTF outcomes from their funding are publicly reported on.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  05/06/07  at  09:17 PM
  137. Tangible proof David? You must be joking! Six years has not provided ANY tangible proof. A few recycled road kill’s all they have got.
    Tangible evidence of heaps of money though… to quote one FFTF member… “money is no problem”.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  06/06/07  at  09:01 AM
  138. Another couple of million dollars in the State Budget towards the fox blunder… poisoning how many more Devils and Quolls?
    The 28 million question still hangs in the balance… maybe the Feds. have wised up a little bit.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  07/06/07  at  07:21 PM
  139. According to David Ralph writing in the local newspapers, MLC Ivan Dean’s questions on the Old Beach incident have been satisfactorily explained by the Taskforce.

    Let’s go through the vital evidence recovered at the Old Beach incident. It amounts to confirmed fox DNA on wood alleged to be from blood. There was no corroborative and supportive evidence of foxes; no fox images from up to 11 deployed cameras, no fox hair, no fox foot prints and no fox DNA recovered from any chicken carcasses.

    Such a finding would be deemed ‘suspicious’ at best; hardly definitive. The likelihood of contamination of these wood samples with fox urine was reported to the owner of the property where this incident occurred. Why would he be told that?

    In contrast to this, there is considerable historical evidence, dog-DNA recovered from chicken carcasses and other physicial evidence from this site that had identified the likely killers of these chicken deaths were dogs.

    In Budget Estimates this week apparently Minister Llewellyn now concurs.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  20/06/07  at  09:40 PM
  140. As I said in post #135 the formula is simple, sometime between now and next fox funding decision time a dead fox WILL appear on the side of a Tasmanian road. The mandatory attendant media circus will ensure the continuation of mandatory taxpayers’ money will be available to the chosen ones.
    The last three incidents,Lillico cub remains,Old Beach fox blood,and the not so warm,fresh and floppy Glen Esk carcass(all easily transportable material)were the catalyst for the much sought after ten year plan. Isn’t it strange nothing has turned up since?
    I would think the Minister will be very,very careful with the next “fox” and must ensure the origin of such and the forensics are somewhat more convincing than the last few incidents.
    If only we had a formula for Hospital and health care,the aged and ambulances,child care and the list goes on…

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  21/06/07  at  09:43 AM
  141. I hope for the “Eastern Spotted Tailed Quoll” refered to in posting # 51 Wood Duck will be now able to determine the difference between the Eastern Quoll,Spotted Tailed Quoll and a Red Fox in his new role with the Fox Eradication Program.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  22/06/07  at  09:30 PM
  142. The Saturday Age supplement Good Weekend (23rd June) had a very fair and balanced report on the Tasmanian Fox issue.
    But you can bet the minister et al will not concede they got it wrong.
    And you can also bet London to a brick nothing will change whilst the current minister is dual Police and DPIW minister!

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  24/06/07  at  03:03 PM
  143. The fox reward has been in place for 10 months now. June 30 was the end of its second extension and no one has successfully collected the $1000 fox reward.

    I ask Tasmanian shooters to please keep trying. I know that many of you are aware of the $1000 fox reward.

    With the approval of the editorial board of Tasmanian Times, I’m extending the reward once again for a further 6 months.

    The ‘terms and conditions’ for being eligible for the reward remain the same.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  01/07/07  at  11:10 AM
  144. Another six months David? We have searched high and low and still can’t find a fox… I think your $1000 is pretty safe.
    Six years ago we were told that “we have a very small window of opportunity” to eradicate the foxes that have been “illegally introduced” This import and release theory has since been proven to be false. Why does the minister,the Govt. and some public servants persist with this fox claim? Is it ego,don’t want to be proven wrong? Anyone with just a few brain cells would know that if foxes were introduced all those years ago they would have multiplied and established by now.
    What these people are trying to claim… time has proven to be false.
    What they are really afraid of is their slack bio-security,their freight container system and the people that are in charge.. their lack of knowledge as to what is really going on out there.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  02/07/07  at  06:11 AM
  145. Where are the ‘up to 400 foxes’ that the State Government now claims Tasmania harbours?

    If after three yeas of 1080-fox baiting in the designated fox hotspot locations, why have foxes still able to sustain themselves to those numbers?

    How effective is the 1080 baiting tool for fox eradication?

    If we are accepting - on face value - that there are up to 400 foxes in Tasmania currently, they must surely have been breeding and if we all agree with this claim, might they have become well established across the broader landscape; even in national parks, remote areas and on private lands where the FFTF never seek access?

    Or are they restricted to the disturbed rural areas where the fox-baiting has principally taken place?

    As several fox scientists have stated if foxes are really in those sorts numbers and dispersed across the Tasmanian landscape….it IS all over, red rover! What is the reality?

    Where is the clear evidence for fox establishment in Tasmania?

    Would this be a first - the first unwanted mammal eradication program, where there is still no confident proof that a targeted species has successfully established reproductive populations in the sites of eradication effort?

    I encourage the jointly funded Tasmania-Commonwealth Fox Eradication Program put immediate and sustained efforts into genuinely obtaining this essential pre-requisite. [A precauitionary principle approach to foxes in Tasmania cannot logically support an eradication program.]

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  05/07/07  at  03:08 PM
  146. I am currently in England, and here I have seen a proposal to put foxes on an endangered species list.

    Tasmania, don’t let this opportunity slip. Here is a tourist attraction now that the Devils are dying out.

    Come to Tassie - see a fox - claim a reward.

    Should get them pouring in!

    Posted by Gerry Mander  on  14/07/07  at  08:27 PM
  147. Gerry, there was an amazing little letter in the Mercury recently about Britian’s loss of foxes.

    The letter writer was referring to road sign .....imagine, if you can, a Irishman with a broad accent saying it out loud.

    “Slow down - for fox sake”.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  16/07/07  at  08:38 AM
  148. Reynard would certainly qualify here for the endangered species list… we have not seen a CONFIRMED live one here since May 1998.
    Over one hundred thousand 1080 meat baits strewn across Tasmania will ensure that a lot of other native carnivores will go on the endangered species list also.
    Never have I ever seen so much Bull Scat circulated.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  16/07/07  at  09:13 AM
  149. For the record Tasmanian Times viewers who have been following the Tasmanian fox program over the years, may be intersted to know that - according to State Government budget documents in 2007-08 the Fox Eradication Program has a projected budget (for one year) of $6,649,000.

    It is made up of: 

    $584,000 for new vehicles
    $94,900 for communications including computers
    $47,100 for advertising & promotion
    $2,649,500 for staff salaries
    $570,000 for travel expenses
    $1,014,100 for “materials’....that might include money to purchase the ‘000s of 1080 fox baits to be deployed in fox hotspot areas.

    Approximately $1,610,000 is still “under negotation”. It is part of this year’s Commonwealth Government allocation to this program.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  12/08/07  at  11:16 AM
  150. And still no fox…six years on not one “Brush” to show for all this expense. But on the bright side, all these new jobs and new vehicles,it has become quite a big industry. Sadly our native wildlife is also being poisoned,if there has been a 10% to 17% uptake of baits of the 130,0000 odd thousand baits laid- I say again -what has taken this number of baits?

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  12/08/07  at  05:03 PM
  151. Also the “warm and floppy,real deal,dead certain” Cleveland fox that the media swallowed hook line and sinker (and the boat and crew as well) isn’t the “real deal” Apparantly it is common knowledge around Campbell Town how the fox got there,who put it there,and why it was put there… according to the locals it has something to do with money and jobs.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  13/08/07  at  09:21 AM
  152. I can confirm Ian’s comments about Campbell Town, having been a local at the time. I can also add that last year, in the weeks after the Task Force laid 1080 poisoning all around the town borders we found a significant number of dead animals floating down the river and lying on the river banks etc. None of them were foxes. All of them were harmless native animals. So why didn’t any dead foxes show up anywhere?

    I was also deeply concerned about how very close to the town the baits were laid - I was warned by the Task Force not to walk my dogs in so many areas I ended up having to take them to Launceston for off-lead exercise.

    Posted by Samantha  on  13/08/07  at  11:21 AM
  153. In the latest edition of Sunday Tasmania (26 August) Michael Stedman interviewed a Midlands farmer - Phillip Osborne - on the eradication of foxes in his part of Tasmania. Once again yet another courageous individual has expressed what others have also realised for some time now.

    The unfortunate reality of the situation that Phillip describes is the recurring sense of a government program that has managed to alienate the very people it so desperately needs.

    At the most basic of levels, Phillip Osborne asks (as other have before him) - (1) how effective are buried 1080-meat baits at eradicating foxes at low densities when there is abundant food availability? and (2) how effective is a program aimed at the eradication of foxes that has absolutely no legal underpinning? [Access to rural properties to lay baits in the so-called ‘fox hotspots’ still relies on voluntary acceptance of landowners.]

    Those doubts surely must affect on how ordinary people would view the genuineness and the effectiveness of this multi-million dollar a year fox eradication program.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  27/08/07  at  11:45 PM
  154. Well done Michael Stedman for a good,honest,tell it how it is piece of journalism. And certainly for Philip Osborne for being so open and factual.
    More and more people are becoming aware of the giant crock of scat that this fox issue is.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  28/08/07  at  10:51 AM
  155. Reports from the Burnie city area suggest that several brand new Fox Eradication Program vehicles were following up on a sighting of a fox apparently seen about two weeks ago.

    Dead or alive, if this one is fair dinkum it could be worth milions of dollars. And it makes my $1000 reward just beer-money!

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  25/09/07  at  09:54 PM
  156. Yes David and I have been informed from reliable inside information of another sighting in an orchard at Spreyton.
    If just a small percentage of these sightings are foxes… then all I can say is it’s all over Red Rover. However I do not believe this to be the case and your reward would be in tatters.
    What a pity any of the people involved in the sightings didn’t have a rifle with them and knew how to use it.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  26/09/07  at  01:39 PM
  157. The $1000 fox reward is still available but it seems the BIG money - the $5.6 million/yr - is with the Fox Eradication Program. [David]
    By Phil Mercer (BBC On-Line)
    30 September 2007

    Tasmanian authorities are intensifying their war against a potentially destructive foe - the European red fox. Officials in the southern Australian state believe their numbers are increasing and are spending up to $50 million to eradicate the foxes. Skeptics, though, think hoaxers may have brought fox carcasses to the island to scare the government. From Sydney, Phil Mercer reports.

    No one knows how many foxes there are - if any - in Tasmania. The official estimate is between 50 and 200. The state government thinks some of these destructive hunters made it to Australia’s southernmost state as stowaways on ships from the mainland or were brought in by smugglers.

    Environmentalists say it would be a disaster if foxes became established on the island. Small mammals, ground-nesting birds and some native rodents could be decimated.

    To counter the threat a special taskforce has been set up, part of a 10-year plan to wipe out Tasmania’s fox population.

    Nick Mooney from the Fox Eradication Branch is convinced there are large groups of foxes in Tasmania. “We have 14 items of hard evidence. These vary from road kills - we’ve had three road kills - to about seven scats (droppings) identified by DNA picked up and another animal shot and some footprints. So we’ve got a fair scattering of hard evidence and we’ve got well over a thousand sighting reports - that’s eye witness accounts, if you like,” he said.

    Skeptics, however, call the evidence “flimsy” and say that there is no concrete proof that pregnant vixens or fox cubs are present in Tasmania.

    The doubters say pranksters may have created a panic in Tasmania by bringing in dead foxes to create the illusion that foxes are now living on the island.

    David Obendorf, a veterinary pathologist in Tasmania, believes the size of the fox population has been wildly exaggerated. “The road kills and finding of biological fox material is fraught with problems because of the numbers of hoaxes and set-ups that have occurred that bring in fox carcasses and fox material from (the) Victorian mainland where foxes are highly prevalent,” he said.

    Both sides in this argument agree though that foxes could inflict untold damage on the island’s unique wildlife.

    Vulnerable indigenous species, including the flightless Tasmanian native hen and bettongs, which are small nocturnal marsupials, would be at particular risk.

    Tasmanians do have good reason to cast a worried look north toward the mainland.

    Experts say there are 30 million foxes across the Australian continent. They were introduced by European settlers and are thought to have played a major part in the extinction of at least 23 native species.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  04/10/07  at  09:53 PM
  158. $50,000,000 what a joke, with 25,000 public servant already on the pay role, whats a few more going to hurt. I still think we also need a alien and Elvis task force, I’m certain I seen elvis filling up his UFO at a servo on the midlands highway, a fox was even relieving himself on his hub caps!

    Posted by ridofredtape  on  05/10/07  at  11:13 PM
  159. Redofredtape, this has become a form of ‘pseudo-science’ or nonsense science because there is underlying ignorance (I could also use the gentler term - denial) of the cause and conditions that create the ‘risk’ of foxes. And a reluctance to apply resources into strategic methods and effective tools to firstly detect the presence of & establishment of foxes and then - if possible - attempt to eradicate them at these sites.

    As one Fox Eradication Program officer expressed publicly very recently if 1% of the 1400 alleged sightings were real (fair dinkum, live free-ranging foxes livng in Tasmania), then are at least 14 foxes out there. 

    If that’s correct Chris Parker, we are best to put our trust in the activities in the Tasmanian Devil Fox Eradication Taskforce to do their duty at a time when they are facing a dismal future. What’s more they do it for nothing and have experience and the nose for it!

    With the greatest respect for the FEP personnel, if the remnants of Tasmania’s ‘natural ecological processes’ cannot control fox establishment, it would be foolish to expect the 1080-poison baits to do it.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  06/10/07  at  12:40 PM
  160. According to the Tasmanian Farmer a new Hunter Coordinator for the Fox Eradication Program has been appointed. It has taken many,many years for this person to be appointed after an original stance of “no foxes” in Tasmania.  He is now going to coordinate hunters to drive the fox out, please some one tell me this is a joke!!
    It will be interesting to see how many years it takes to get their FIRST fox.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  10/10/07  at  02:27 PM
  161. The Legislative Council Hansard of the 30/10/07 records the disturbing answers to questions asked on fox baiting in Tasmania. This year alone 19,000 baits have been laid and 2,000 have been taken. Not one dead fox recovered though, so what is taking these 1080 meat baits? And before we here the usual nonsense about “oh the foxes go back to their dens and die” my experience on the mainland has shown me plenty of 1080 poisoned foxes.

    And besides foxes only use dens for giving birth and rearing cubs.

    If 2,000 baits have gone missing this year alone… simply put that is 2,000 less Devils and Quolls and other carnivorous/omnivorous animals that have been poisoned in Tasmania.

    This is in addition to the 130,000 meat baits laid since 2002 when we were told we have a “very small window of opportunity” to eradicate these illegally introduced foxes. “If we can get through one breeding season with no evidence of cubs,we have won”


    We here the usual cries of help for funding for the Devil Facial Tumour Disease (and I support any expense to save the Devil) but not a whimper from these people about the damage the fox baiting is doing,what mentality would support this massive meat based 1080 baiting campaign when our iconic Devil is in such trouble.

    This all went wrong when a Tasmanian minister was fed the wrong information back in June 2001 ABOUT FOX CUB IMPORT AND RELEASE. A very intensive and thorough Tasmania Police investigation did not uncover one single scrap of evidence to support the import and release theory, however the minister for Police and the D.P.I.W. at the time chose to ignore it.

    Why? because he had been promised funding verbally by the then environment minister Senator Robert Hill, but an election and a change of environment minister to David Kemp changed all that.

    Too late, we were committed, but where was the money going to come from? I seem to recall a certain Tasmanian minister calling the feds environmental vandals… and we will go it alone with Tasmanian money. Bloody politics.

    Sure a fox did jump off a boat at Burnie in May 1998,and yes, a fox did jump out of a container at Agfest in May 2001 and was seen some days later by a well known naturalist. The media at the time said “what if it was a vixen and she was pregnant” oh shock oh horror. How bloody stupid,a bit of research would have revealed NO female fox in Australia is pregnant in MAY.

    There is a day coming when all this is going to bite someone on the bum big time. I hope for the poor Devil and Quolls sake that day is not far away.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  31/10/07  at  04:40 PM
  162. By the tenor of both the recent questions asked by MLC Ivan Dean and the State Government’s responses to those questions (30 October 2007), it is apparent Ivan is receiving very good intelligence on the activities of the Fox Eradication Taskforce.

    Of course now that a very, very large mount of money is being appropriated for the adventure - both Commonwealth & State - the need for public auditing, transparency and accountability will be significantly higher. No longer can the State just take the money and run its own agenda. It will have to demonstrate where the allocations have been spent and, most importantly, how effective those allocations have been at “eradicating” the 400 foxes that State fox biologist guesstimates exist across Tasmania.

    I can only hope that this $5.6 million per annum fox hunt does not now become a ‘witch hunt’ within DPIW to discover where the parliamentarian’s intelligence is coming from.

    My advice to any person or persons who believe that money is being misappropriated or any other mismanagement is occurring to make a full statutory Public Interest Disclosure with the assistance of Mr Dean’s office. This will ensure that statutory witness protection against dismisal or harassment and bullying also occurs.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  04/11/07  at  10:56 AM
  163. Well! anyone watching “stateline” tonight hasa to be as confused as i, as spokesman declared that when they have subjected scats to D.N.A testing they will be more sure of their ground ! well excuse me all over the bloody place! but wasn’t all this furore caused by the Burnie sighting ! now 10 years ago ! and as yet NO D.N.A TESTING !  what is being done with all the millions of dollars so far dedicated to this farce.
      There is a really bad stink emanating from this scenario and it aint GODDAMN FOX SCATS !

    Posted by don davey  on  09/11/07  at  07:00 PM
  164. I guess Don the ‘industry’ of fox eradication has to be differeniated from the ‘science’ of actual fox detection and fox establishment.

    The recent Stateline program highlights a seismic shift in the Department’s explanations for the origins of potential fox incursions into Tasmania with an emphasis on the quarantine breaches and fox escapes from interstate trade movements.

    I too was left completely confused as to whether the scats they had found in Midland fox hotspots were actually, definitely diagnosed as fox by DNA and by any other additional tests.

    We are completely reliant on the activities of the Fox Eradication Branch staff and the Invasive Animal CRC testing services. We need to await the results from their surveys of carnivore scats. I trust they will publish the forensic data in a peer-reviewed science journal and include the breakdown of all the scats to species - including feral cats.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  11/11/07  at  10:23 PM
  165. (164)
      David , D.N.A has been with us now for many years and the way i read it, as yet D.N.A testing has not been done !  so what of the millions of Taxpayers money earmarked for this farce,  as previously mentioned the Devonport sighting was ten years back and surely D.N.A testing should be carried out to determine the existence of foxes before actually allocating millions to its eradication ! or is that just too simplistic for this corrupt regime.?

    Posted by don davey  on  12/11/07  at  05:01 PM
  166. As I said in my original “The Fox Report” posted on this web site in April 2004… “a fox jumped off a boat in Burnie in May 1998 and the lights came on”  Rumours of cub imports spread about over the next couple of years,then another fox jumps out at Agfest in May 2001 to be seen a few days later again by a well respected naturalist. This put in place one of the most expensive,exploited,tax payer funded,over dramatised debacles in Tasmanian history.
    Hoaxing,fabricating,media sensationalism and just plain nonsense has seen millions and millions of dollars spent with absolutely NO results. Not one single genuine Tasmanian fox has been shot,poisoned,trapped or even photographed.
    This is just not possible with the number of people involved. It has become an industry with NO returns,and sadly,poisoning a lot of innocent animals. In war I believe they call it colateral damage.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  12/11/07  at  08:15 PM
  167. A quote from last Saturday’s Advocate is very significant. It came from Alan Johnston, the Fox Eradication Branch manager.

    “We are in the business of eradicating foxes - if we never find any more hard evidence, that’s good news.”

    I ask again, if all the hard evidence they have to date is transportable evidence from locations where foxes are ‘established’ [i.e. mainland Australia] then what is the Department’s “hard evidence” for their sincere belief that foxes are established - as free-ranging, breeding populations - in any Tasmanian location?

    Surely this IS the basis of an eradication program mounted against an unwanted feral species.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  13/11/07  at  07:35 AM
  168. I say again David,we have only two known, proven fox incursions.
    May 1998 one single incursion at the Burnie Port,May 2001 another single incursion at Agfest, all the other claimed evidence has NO substance.
    Even if they were female, there is NO chance of the fear of them being pregnant in May.
    If the cub import/release theory was not true,as proven by Tasmania Police… where are these unshootable,uncatchable,untouchable,1080 resistant,non photogenic Tasmanian foxes coming from?
    Let’s find another freshly imported, very dead fox on the side of a Tasmanian road, say it is still warm and it is “the real deal” it’s got to be worth anywhere between 2 million dollars and 56 million dollars.
    Maybe we could funnel some of this unlimited fox money into health, hospitals, the elderly, child care and education.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  13/11/07  at  07:53 PM
  169. On the last day before the federal election, Labor and Kevin Rudd promised to fund the ‘Save the Devil’ program with $10 million spread over 5 years. This comes after a direct email request from senior Scientist, Professor Hamish McCallum to Mr Rudd on 15 October this year asking for $50 million over 5 years.

    “To make a real impact on the disease [DFTD], an annual investment of 10 million dollars for each of the next 5 years is required. I ask that the ALP should make this an urgent commitment as part of its environment platform.”

    “If devils become extinct not only will be lose the second largest marsupual carnivore, but it is also likely that feral predator numbers [species not specified] will increase, endangering at least four other manmmals that have disappeared from the mainland of Australia.”

    The unnamed ‘feral predators’ Professor McCallum might be obliquely alluding to - and identified in subsequent media as foxes - are the worst case ‘fear’ scenario…whilst the smidgin of ‘hope’ is the indication that devils in western Tasmania may be sufficiently different genetically to prevent these transmissible cancer cells from successfully implanting and growing in at least some of the western devils.

    So the simple, low-cost solution might be already out there. Doing the science to prove whether this was a credible solution to save the devil just requires the willingness of DPIW to allow the experimental transmission research, the molecular research offered by national & international collaborators and the eastern-western devil breeding studies at fraction of this cost.

    It is rather fanciful to suggest that any Tasmanian-based devil scientist, currently facing a cessation of current State funding, wouldn’t welcome $10 million for another 5 years.

    And you guessed it, the unmentionable ‘feral predator’ that is now well established across Tasmania, the feral cat, has received no specifically targeted funding!

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  24/11/07  at  12:38 PM
  170. What,still no fox? David your reward is looking much safer by the day.
    No doubt with budget estimates coming up something will break shortly. Another sighting,another carcass,who knows what?
    No doubt though, the journalists on the “Lunch List” will help the cause!

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  20/01/08  at  10:09 AM
  171. Are the powers that be not obligated to publicly state EXACTLY where the millions of dollars already spent on this ( what is more and more becoming a scam) have been spent if called upon ? and just how would one go about enforcing that scenario.

    Posted by don davey  on  21/01/08  at  10:43 AM
  172. I’d like to make an appeal to logic for the discontinuance of poison baiting.

    Tens of thousands of poisoned baits are spread throughout Tasmania in hope it will kill foxes. Now let us ask what is the realistic chance foxes are really present? Some argue they definitely are here. The contrary position is that this is highly unlikely. A logic guess might place the odds at 50-50 then. But, even at 1 in 10, the government would no doubt still argue for the poisoning campaign. True? “We can’t take the chance…”

    Now let us ask what the chance the Tasmanian Tiger still exists.
    Yes, the perennial debate. And here the odds are actually about the same as for the fox. We have more thylacine sightings than fox sightings, and many others vehemently believe it hangs on.
    Yes, we don’t have a single carcass. So, contrarians argue it is all a fantasy. Others give it a chance, maybe even 50-50, maybe 1 in 10…

    The point is this. The two animals have roughly the same chance for continued existence in Tassie. The government’s logic is that whatever the odds for the existence of the fox, the gamble is too great not to poison.

    Well, shouldn’t this “logic” equally apply to the Tasmanian Tiger? If the odds are less than 50-50 or even 1 in 10, then the government should NOT TAKE THE CHANCE with an indiscriminate poisoning program.

    Importantly, the same argument would also apply to the possibility poisoning has been affecting Tasmanian devils re: facial tumors.

    Another note about the Tasmanian Tiger. MANY people believe it ate only live animals and hence would not take a poisoned bait. This is false. There are records of thylacines eating dead animals, including film documentation anyone can see in the old historic films when a thylacine was fed “scraps”. If a thylacine was hungry enough, it would not refuse a “handout”.

    Others have argued marsupials have a natural resistance to 1080 and that it would have no effect on any living thylacines.
    Maybe…maybe. That’s all one can really say, other than what person or agency in their right mind would dare take the chance
    if for instance, a living thylacine were found. You’d feed the animal 1080 laced meat with full confidence there would be no effect? Come on, anyone daring to do so would have to be insane.

    And that summarizes the continued poisoning of Tasmania. It is literally insanity…never mind the MILLIONS that are being spent (your money!).

    Posted by David Alford  on  21/01/08  at  01:51 PM
  173. I absolutely agree with you David Alford…what mentality would be laying thousands of meat based 1080 baits across the Tasmanian landscape with the possibility of a Thylacine still in existence,and also with the Devil in so much trouble.
    I also agree with D.D.on the scam, of course it’s a scam, it always has been. Six years of this nonsense and not ONE FOX poisoned,trapped,shot or even photographed. Surely anyone that knows anything about the Tasmanian outdoors realises this.
    Who is making all the money out of this? Refer to the Australian Governments Bureau of Rural Sciences ‘Improving Fox Management Strategies’.
    Just have a look at how much 1080 is used in Australia for baiting foxes… yet there are more foxes on the mainland than there ever was!
    Bearing in mind this is a 2007 publication on page 118 the book has a section on Tasmania. They still are on about the 11+8 =19 cubs that were alleged to have been imported and released at Longford. Apart from not even getting the years right i.e it is claimed in this segment that the cub introductions took place in 2000 and 2001.
    Not according to the official Tasmania Police letters obtained under F.O.I. that concluded that the allegations were based on rumour,gossip,innuendo and false information. On the 20th June 2001 the Police were told the cub introductions took place in 1998 and 1999.
    Never have I seen such a litany of mistakes,mistruths,speculation and plain fudging. Nothing but a Judicial inquiry or similar will expose this shambles.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  21/01/08  at  05:55 PM
  174. Ian, “what mentaility…?” Indeed. I have the utmost respect for Tasmania, which is why a 3rd World mentality towards the abundant use of poisons such as 1080 literally shocks me out of my rubber fishing waders! Jeeze…this can only superceded by the goal of building a pulp mill in the beautiful Tamar Valley…or maybe not!

    Are their categories beyond ultimate stupidity to determine which has the higher ranking?

    Posted by David Alford  on  23/01/08  at  05:14 AM
  175. There is a interesting DVD out from New Zealand and also on YouTube about 1080 poisoning, Go to the website

    Warning: Graphic images of animals suffering.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  11/02/08  at  08:51 AM
  176. The fact that nothing AT ALL of value has been found proving that foxes are here tells me that is a monumental scam ! perpetrated by whom , i don,t know ! but it is a scam of huge proportions involving millions of dollars of our bloody money , at least lets have an inquiry into exactly how the money is spent ,and by whom , lets face this things being going on for 10 f———g years and someone’s getting   very rich of taxpayer dollars, and if anyone reckons that no one could be bothered bringing foxes to Tassie, why wouldn’t they ? with all this money at stake.

    Posted by don davey  on  11/02/08  at  08:48 PM
  177. (175)
        Bloody inhuman Ian, i have to say , hell ! why can,t this be given to the A.B.C for screening , the 7.30 report for instance.
        I assume that it,s spread to cull the possums, is that correct.

    Posted by don davey  on  11/02/08  at  10:58 PM
  178. Thanks very much for the link, Ian. Of particular interest (albeit horrific) was the dog dying from having eaten a poisoned animal. Any remaining thylacines in Tasmania would be susceptible to the same fate. And certainly Devils have not benefited from this stupidity.

    Posted by David Alford  on  12/02/08  at  03:03 AM
  179. Regrettably David (comment #178), it is becoming increasing apparent that the devil decline and the emergence of the infectious facial cancer can be linked to behaviour changes in the interaction between devils - the indirect consequence of using 1080 for the last 5 decades or so. This was and still is “killing fields’ option of clearing out the Tasmanian indigenous herbivores - demonising them as ‘vermin’.

    The thylacine tragedy also epitomised that contempt for the native fauna; the way a cunning colonial storyline based on fearful hysteria - could drive a creature to extinction.

    We reap what we sow; Tasmania is no different.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  12/02/08  at  10:59 AM
  180. from ‘thegrafboys’

    Rated by the USA Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as a chemical ?BAD ACTOR? and a MALE REPRODUCTIVE TOXIN, 1080 is also rated as a Class 1a EXTREMELY HAZARDOUS CHEMICAL, by the World Health Organisation. (W.H.O.) (United Nations) and even in small doses can produce reproductive defects in humans. 1080 MAY BE AN ENDOCRINE DISTRUPTOR.

    Recent research by scientist worldwide has raised very serious doubts about whether the continued use of 1080 is safe for total environmental and human health. The old justifications by the NZ Govt to use 1080 are no longer valid.

    To support this petition to have 1080 use stopped in New Zealand, please fill in your details on the left.
    So, why EXACTLY is it regulated for use in Tassie over thousands of acres, accessible to native animals including Federally listed endangered species?
    What was that?
    Speak up, I could not possibly have heard you correctly; did you say ‘to get rid of all those tree browsing vermin’?
    May well include some of the human variety?
    And how did you argue the case for this…..????

    Posted by sanguine  on  12/02/08  at  12:15 PM
  181. Re #178, thylacines would not necessarily be susceptible at all; exotic canids are far more susceptible to 1080 than those carnivorous marsupials that have been tested.  How susceptible an animal is to 1080 has far more to do with whether it evolved in Australian conditions (where 1080-rich plants are native to some areas) than whether it does or does not look like a dog. 

    Re #179, what is this claimed behavioural change, how is it supposed to have happened and what is the evidence for it?  Just saying that something is becoming “increasingly apparent”, without evidence, isn’t very helpful to debate.  Has anything been published on this?

    This being my first post on this epic thread (haven’t checked it for a while), I note as always that all comments I post here reflect my own views only.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  14/02/08  at  06:59 PM
  182. Kevin, since you apparently didn’t read my earlier post above, I’ll repeat the salient point:

    “Others have argued marsupials have a natural resistance to 1080 and that it would have no effect on any living thylacines.

    Maybe…maybe. That’s all one can really say, other than what person or agency in their right mind would dare take the chance if for instance, a living thylacine were found. You’d feed the animal 1080 laced meat with full confidence there would be no effect? Come on, anyone daring to do so would have to be insane.”

    Posted by David Alford  on  15/02/08  at  03:32 AM
  183. To give an example that may make the danger clear when the concentration of a dietary substance (and btw, thylacines are not vegetarian and would normally be eating 1080 rich plants) is increased a thousand times or more, consider Vitamin A posioning in humans.

    Vitamin A, commonly found in carrots, etc. is an important vitamin, but in concentrated dosages can cause birth defects and death in humans.

    The danger of 1080 poison baits would apply to the Devil and ALL of our other marsupials. Or did you forget the reason 1080 continues to be used by the forest industry throughout Tasmania is to kill “nuisance” marsupials?

    Lastly, as the New Zealand film indicates, getting 1080 in streams and water supplies could affect humans even in trace amounts. The poisoning of Tasmania (aka Poison Island) is a waste of citizens’ hard earned money and it’s environmental insanity.

    Posted by David Alford  on  15/02/08  at  04:24 AM
  184. Please can we stop flogging the myth of our native carnivores, herbivores and also omnivores being resistant to 1080 because of their exposure to the Gastrolbium family of plants i.e.  poison peas, gifblaar etc.
    I would remind eveyone-again,that daily we use a 0.14% solution of 1080 and mix it with carrots, apples and also grain to poison our NATIVE HERBIVORES. This includes llabies,possums,wombats,bettongs and what ever else consumes this poison.
    The natives resistant theory was and is a ‘bright shining lie’ told to justify the use of this poxy poison.
    It will all come back and bite you.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  15/02/08  at  09:18 AM
  185. Congratulations David Alford; your common sense arguments are like sunlight to a vampire when applied to the employed puppets supposedly in charge of this fiasco. How much simpler it would be to divide the millions of wasted dollars among the Tasmanian farmers and volunteer services with the commission to seek and destroy the entire population of the savage and invisible ‘Tasmanian fox’population. Funds not used could be applied to finance equipment for ambulance, fire brigade and land care projects.

    I think you should drill deeper into this mindless project to find out who really drives it; multinational companies marketing poisons, imperfect drugs and GM products are the real bad guys. Look at the battles occuring in the USA with organic farmers vs the notorious evil corporations. Their tentacles have reached Australia and they are the puppet masters.

    Please could you provide us with some aerial photographs of the clear felling in your area.

    Here is a famous quote: “The truth is the moral enemy of the lie, and thus, by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” Joseph Goebbels.

    Posted by Dr Mark Witcombe  on  15/02/08  at  09:28 AM
  186. David, you’re quite correct that I didn’t read your previous post you refer to (apologies - it’s a very long thread that was recently highlighted, hence my return to reading it), but it is better than the one I responded to, and inconsistent with it. 

    With no opportunity to test a thylacine (even if one still existed) and strong prima facie reasons to believe a thylacine would not be as susceptible (although you are right that we could not be certain of this without testing it), you cannot correctly assert that “any remaining thylacines in Tasmania would be susceptible to the same fate” (as dogs dying from eating poisoned animals).  Very likely they would not; however, we’ll never know.  The point about thylacines not eating plants is irrelevant since any peak carnivore feeding on marsupials would need a resistance to any toxic substances those marsupials may have recently ingested.

    The susceptibility of devils to 1080 *has* been measured (the article by Nick Mooney at should be read by anyone engaging in the 1080 debates.)  Not only are they less susceptible to 1080 than the other marsupials (and that’s on a kg-by-kg basis) but they are dozens of times less sensitive to it than foxes and almost 100 times less sensitive than dogs.

    I haven’t seen the NZ film yet but is 1080 actually capable of persisting in streams without breaking down for long enough to be harmful to humans?

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  15/02/08  at  09:43 AM
  187. Further to my previous comment on this thread this a.m. I offer the following website from the U.S.National Biological Service;
    This will give readers that are interested in the truth a completely factual,unbiased,scientific report on 1080(sodium monfluoroacetate. 
    In this report on page 5 of some 52 pages it states; Compound 1080 is highly poisonous to all animals. Also in 1972 compound 1080 was banned in the U.S.A. because it could not meet the Federal EPA laws,mainly because it was considered an extreme risk of secondary poisoning and primary poisoning of nontarget mammals and birds.
    In June 1989,however,technical 1080 was conditionally approved for use only in livestock protection collars. The 30ml collar is registered for use by the U.S.Department of Agriculture;by the states of Montana,Wyoming,South Dakota,and New Mexico;and by Rancher’s Supply,Alpine,Texas.
    Put simply political pressure was bought to bear on Ronald Reagan just before he left the office of the President of the U.S. by the Western ranching states, purely for coyote and illegal wolf control.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  15/02/08  at  01:32 PM
  188. Mark, when I flew the area, the smoke from the brush pile fires made visibility poor; it even entered the flight cabin of my little plane so I wanted to leave. I didn’t think to take pics of such an ugly mess. I may fly the area in another month or so to do that because it should be posted on the internet. I doubt many Tasmanias know the true extent of the “holocaust”.

    Posted by David Alford  on  15/02/08  at  06:18 PM
  189. Kevin, as Ian Rist has stated, we do not have these types of plants in Tasmania. & To repeat, would you confidently feed a captured thylacine with full dosages of 1080 poison & expect the animal to show no effects? Come on!

    Regarding Nick Mooney’s article…I’m also a biologist and there are studies and there are studies…To say the devil population didn’t drop in an area that had been 1080 poisoned is NOT a conclusion that there has been no harmful effects. The males may have been sterilzed; pregnant females may have aborted, etc. etc. To generalize 1080 is harmless is psuedo science.

    Look at it like this, a crop duster aeroplane could spray George Town and it’s inhabitants with a significant application of toxic chemicals. You come back in a month, and there are still cars driving around and you even see about the same number of people. Would you logically conclude there has been “no effect”?

    Posted by David Alford  on  15/02/08  at  06:51 PM
  190. Re #184 I have addressed this before on other threads by pointing out that the Tasmanian fauna are descended from groups that are or were widespread in Australia generally, hence the immunity can be ancestral.

    It’s possible that in relative isolation from the toxin their immunity has reduced, but we already know (courtesy of the studies cited in the Mooney article I linked to above) that even herbivorous marsupials that can be poisoned using 1080 need a far higher lethal dose than animals with no ancestral exposure such as dogs.  The secondary poisoning problem is more extreme in the US (#187) for this reason. 

    Furthermore, comparing scavenging marsupials eating carcasses to the herbivores that are poisoned is bound to be misleading, because the scavenger is not going to ingest all the 1080 ingested by the poisoned herbivore (because 1080 breaks down, this will not happen even if it eats the whole carcass itself in one go, which is unlikely.)

    It’s possible thylacines would have snuffed it at one whiff of the stuff but it seems rather unlikely.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  15/02/08  at  06:51 PM
  191. Regarding the persistence of 1080 in streams, I wouldn’t want to drink the water if someone pissed upstream & I’m quite sure I wouldn’t want to drink the water if it was 1080 contaminated. Would you let your children? Trace amounts of these chemicals can play havoc with endocrine systems in mammals (that’s us!).

    Posted by David Alford  on  15/02/08  at  06:55 PM
  192. It appears that the Tasmanian scientists (dr.) Mooney and (dr.) Bonham et al are far better informed than the other 99% of world scientists that have condemned and had outlawed this third world poison 1080.
    As New Zealand and Australia now use 94% of the world production of 1080 it would appear our decision makers are better informed than the rest of the world.
    The testing done by Dr. John McIlroy in 1980-1986 on captive animals in Canberra (did this include Devils???) is as far as I know the benchmark.
    WHERE were the Tasmanian Devil 1080 resistant tests done? Where they peer reviewed? By whom?
    Persons that believe their own propoganda, I and others normally regard as fools.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  16/02/08  at  07:52 AM
  193. Kevin, consider the dingo is a dog and ate the same animals as thylacine on the mainland. Would you predict the dingo would be immune to 1080 as you suppose the thylacine is? Before you answer, watch the NZ video where you’ll see what happens to a dog that has eaten (an apparently small) portion of a 1080 poisoned animal. This clip shows the danger of secondary poisoning is not theory, but quite real. I’ll predict the dingo has no immunity from 1080.

    Secondly,  thylacin would be exposed to direct injestion of 1080 poison just as the supposed foxes would be. You may want to assume otherwise, but I believe any thylacine eating 1080 laced bait would be killed just as other marusipials like the opossum are.

    A much better strategy would be to use live traps scented with red fox attractant/scents. You can buy or construct a lot of live traps for a Million Dollars, and wildlife biologists could also use them to monitor other wildlife, such as the Devil. Taxpayers would also be ahead a few Miillion…

    btw, I have trapped fox amongst other mammals, and live traps do work.

    Posted by David Alford  on  16/02/08  at  08:57 AM
  194. If anyone is having trouble retrieving the United States National Biological Service report on the hazards of 1080 to fish,wildlife and invertebrates:a synoptic review- from this thread,simply go to the internet and google I promise it will come up.

    Posted by Dr Mark Witcombe  on  16/02/08  at  10:03 AM
  195. Re #189, I am *not* saying that 1080 is definitely absolutely harmless to peak predators/scavengers, but what I was saying is that thylacines would not have necessarily been susceptible to dying from eating one poisoned animal. To say that anyone in the debate has been generalising that 1080 is harmless is most likely pseudo-argument ;)

    Re #191, it’s a good idea to avoid assuming when asking questions in debate; I have no children!  In any case, water is only “1080 contaminated” if there is actually 1080 in it, and if the stuff has all broken down by the point of consumption then it shouldn’t be a concern.  But is this, or isn’t it, the case? 

    And Ian (#192), the Mooney article I published gave three references by McIlroy from Australian Wildlife Research, a peer-reviewed journal.  Asking “by whom” is a rather curious question since anyone with any familiarity with the peer-review process knows that the names of reviewers are normally not revealed to either the author of the paper or the public. 

    Of course there are very good reasons why 1080 remains on the table as an option in Australia and New Zealand, but not elsewhere.  Australian native mammals have elevated resistance and New Zealand native mammals barely exist!  That said, the stuff is nasty from an animal welfare viewpoint alone, so I am not arguing for its use - just for the debate about its use to stick to the facts.

    On that score, any chance of sticking to debating the points without veering into unsubstantiated personal attacks such as ” Persons that believe their own propoganda, I and others normally regard as fools.”?  I (and some others) get quite enough of this unnecessary rubbish from the many silly greens on this site without copping it from the fox-sceptics as well.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  16/02/08  at  10:11 AM
  196. Kev, mateyyy… don’t be so sensitive and insecure.
    You were the furthest thought from my mind when I spoke of fools believing their own propoganda.
    I am still waiting for someone to tell me where and when the Tasmanian Devil 1080 resistance tests were done.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  16/02/08  at  05:58 PM
  197. Re #183, the dingo is indeed a dog, and an introduced one, even if people sometimes refer to it as native.  There is no evidence of it being in Australia more than about 6000 years.  So whether or not it developed any resistance to 1080 in that time (I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s too short) is irrelevant - it is not comparable to the thylacine which was once widespread across the Australian mainland.

    A thylacine being a large peak predator/scavenger, it’s likely you would need a heck of a lot of 1080 to kill one.  However, even assuming there was enough in a bait to knock one over, that wasn’t what I was questioning.  Again, I was questioning the claim that a thylacine would die from eating a poisoned carcass in the same manner dogs often do.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  16/02/08  at  06:13 PM
  198. Ian, re #196, if you read your post again I hope you’ll see that my assumption the latter bit was directed at Nick Mooney and me is quite justified.  At least, I assume your post was intended to read sarcastically.  So who are these “fools”?

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  16/02/08  at  07:59 PM
  199. There are a lot of people with a big ego that believe their own propaganda… Napoleon and Bush would be two that immediately come to mind.
    However back to the fox thread, this would have to be the classic ‘argumentum ad nauseum’ It has been about the release of selected information and media control from day one.
    Painfully obvious is the fact it has originated from just a few propagators.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  17/02/08  at  08:37 AM
  200. Kevin, if the dingo could thrive w/o being 1080 resistant, why assume the thylacine HAD to be 1080 resistant? I presented the thought experiment, if a living thylacine were in existence, would you feel confident enough in your position to feed it 1080 laced bait?

    If you (would) answer in the affirmative, I believe you could safely assume all of Tasmania (save Gunn’s) would boot you off the island (hypothetically, of course!).

    Re: “your children”...I didn’t assume you had children, that is a rhetorical question.  So, hypothetically speaking, if you had children would you let them drink 1080 laced water? We both know the answer.

    Aside from this tit for tat, the bottom line is the FACT Tasmania has become a poison island at great environmental and taxpayer expense for entirely questionable ends. I can see the argument for spending perhaps a half million for wildlife cameras and traps, etc. but poisoning the heartland of Tassie and wasting millions more? Incredible.

    Posted by David Alford  on  17/02/08  at  01:04 PM
  201. David (#200), your thought experiment is irrelevant because the point of yours that I took issue with was your claim that a thylacine would be susceptible to eating a poisoned *carcass* in the same way that a dog would.  So I am not taking a position regarding a *bait* and to ask me if I am confident in my position enough to feed a thylacine a bait is spurious because what I was arguing does not involve baits.  (I will not bother explaining this again.)

    Furthermore I am not assuming the thylacine *had* to be 1080-resistant, just stating this is highly likely and that the onus is on anyone believing it would keel over as easily as a dog to demonstrate that.  (Getting the thylacine would be the easy bit for that, compared to getting the ethical clearance!)

    Concerning the dingo thriving despite lacking 1080 resistance, shrubs containing 1080 currently occur naturally only in certain parts of WA, and even there for a dingo to eat a herbivore that had very recently browsed on 1080 would be a relatively rare event.  Given the immense ecological advantages the dingo enjoyed by virtue of being an introduced species to which the native species had no evolved response, it is very unlikely the presence of 1080-containing shrubs in restricted portions of its new home would have done much to curb its success as an invading predator.

    Hypothetical personal questions that relate to situations I have no direct experience of (or interest in) also don’t interest me in the slightest.  However we need to distinguish between “1080 laced water” (which I don’t recommend anyone drinking) and “water some distance downstream from an event involving 1080 where the persistence of the 1080 to that point (assuming it even made it into the water supply in the first place) is not established”.  In these cases I want to know what (if anything) the science says about the degree of risk (if any).  Of course this includes not just the 1080 itself but any chemicals accompanying it.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  17/02/08  at  11:41 PM
  202. The issue of a thylacine dying by 1080 poisoning either directly through eating a 1080 laced bait OR secondary poisoning may be irrelevant to Kevin Bonham, but it would be highly relevant to any remaining thylacines.

    Regarding your statements why the dingo might not have evolved 1080 resistance, for the most part, these might apply to the thylacine. We really don’t know, true? The bottom line is it’s highly speculative to assume thylacines had any or signiciant 1080 resistance that would make them immune to primary or secondary 1080 poisoning.

    Re: your “lack of interest” in answering whether we should be concerned if “our” children drank 1080 contaminated water, that about says it all, Doc. We’ll just to accept you are not interested in the slightest. Disappointing, but hey, you’re entitled to your philosophy.

    Posted by David Alford  on  18/02/08  at  07:31 AM
  203. It is a known scientific fact that not only the thylocine, but also most dinosaurs, the odd mammoth and sabre-toothed tigers were highly susceptible to 1080 poison. It is also considered that the unicorn would not be imune. Had it not been for the fact that most thylocines were actually shot, and the last survivors died in a zoo about seventy years ago, this could easily be demonstrated.

    It is very inconsiderate of all these beasts not to stick around long enough for the tests to be carried out scientifically, and so put an end once and for all to this stupid argument..

    Posted by Gerry Mander  on  18/02/08  at  06:01 PM
  204. Gerry, good one! Unfortunately, if we keep polluting our planet Homo sapiens (what a name!) may soon join the extinction list…

    Posted by David Alford  on  19/02/08  at  07:26 AM
  205. Perhaps more to the point, we do have Devils out there eating these poison baits. It makes no sense whatever given their increasingly precarious existence.

    Posted by David Alford  on  19/02/08  at  07:39 AM
  206. David Alford I agree with you on all counts… what people would sanction a Blitzkrieg poison meat baiting campaign with the Devil and Tiger (spotted tailed) Quoll in so much trouble.
    Sadly the people that sanction this and make the decisions have the numbers in the Parliament, and the alternatives aren’t any better. I did excuse them for awhile, however, whilst they have listened to people that are protecting their jobs I now have NO sympathy for them at all now…they have had time to work it out.
    The evidence they say are 4 fox carcases,seven scats and fox blood recovered from a chicken yard.
    I think there is a day coming when we ALL WILL get a chance to examine and comment on the evidence. Bring it on I say.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  19/02/08  at  03:33 PM
  207. While it is most important to be vigilante for foxes, it would be prudent to prepare a defence strategy that would target foxes.
    We are targeting a feral that may or may not be present, while ignoring one that is entrenched and causing massive problems to wildlife, ( as mentioned in a previous thread).

    The domestic cat causes damage in the suburbs, its feral cousin in the country. Abortive disease is carried by cats that affects humans and sheep.
    There is no “Cat Task Force” for a very real problem that is present in the here and now.

    Would eradicating the feral cat create another problem, an increase in rabbit numbers? I think that it would be a problem that would have to be treated on its merits.

    Posted by Tony Saddington  on  19/02/08  at  05:07 PM
  208. Re #202, again, I was concerned with rebutting a particular comment.  As for things being “highly speculative”, it’s odd you should mention that because my point in posting was to point out that   your assertion in #178, written as if it was a matter of fact, is not only “highly speculative” but rather likely to be wrong.  At no point have I asserted that thylacines would certainly be resistant so I can speculate all I like!

    The points I make about the dingo do not apply to the thylacine because thylacines were long-established on mainland Australia and as such lacked the advantages that the dingo had as an exotic species.  Therefore if the thylacine did not develop 1080 resistance over time, loss of specimens to secondary poisoning (even if only rare) could have been a big deal for the species’ prospects in those areas where 1080 was an issue. 

    And as for the “lack of interest”, please don’t try to twist my words into something you think you can base a personal attack upon.  You asked the question in the terms “your children” in #191 (not aware at the time that I have none), and then you asked it again in the terms of “hypothetically speaking, if you had children” in #200 - it was that “hypothetical *personal* question” (my emphasis) which I indicated I had no interest in. 

    You cannot correctly say I indicated a “lack of interest” in the potential impacts of 1080 on *other* people’s children, because at no point did you ask me a question concerning my views relating to that!

    So again, any chance of debate on this thread avoiding personal attacks and sticking to debating what is actually said?

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  19/02/08  at  09:01 PM
  209. Kevin, “as a matter of fact” it would be incredibly stupid to feed poisoned prey to a thylacine, if there are any around. Why are you even defending such an absurdity?

    Regarding your paragraph 2 in #208, your point is lost. Try writing more clearly.

    Regarding 1080 and children, you could have answered the question when it was clarified for you. What is wrong with you that you feel the need to “stonewall” on a simple question?

    There is no hope for honest debate with you, IMO, because you lack sincerity. You thought you could come in here and waltz around in some sort of misguided defense of 1080. Instead, you
    have made a mockery of your title. You must be one of the few “doctors” in Australia, if not the world, who feels compelled to to defend 1080 poisoning, and indiscriminate poisoning at that.

    Posted by David Alford  on  20/02/08  at  03:33 AM
  210. If any interested person is having trouble raising the U.S Govt’s Fisheries and Wildlife report on contaminant hazards to wildlife go to;
    If the site come up with Patuxent inquiry…insert 1080 sodium monofluoroacetate in the box provided and you are in. Good Luck

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  20/02/08  at  08:15 AM
  211. Government native critter hype - the killing hypocrites of native critters.

    The State government’s reaction to a recent arrow killing of a possum was hypocritical. Whilst undeniably this killing was a bad thing, it is no different to the suffering caused by the ‘legal’ mass killing of such creatures by the government still allowing 1080 to be used.

    Sickening Arrow Killing of Animal
    (Mon 4th Feb 2008 – Government media release)

    Of the arrow shot possum the head of Wildlife Management Mr Davies said,
    “This is the senseless killing of an animal. Although not endangered, the brush-tailed possum is a protected species like most of our native animals,”

    “Firstly, it is illegal to take them without a permit. Secondly, it is illegal to use an unapproved method to take a protected species. The person or person’s responsible risk fines of up to $10,000 on each count.”

    At potentially $10,000 a pop, just imagine the bill to the likes of Gunns and Forestry and other 1080 users for their years of wildlife killing sprees. But apparently it’s different, because that’s legal. It’s a Tassie gov shuffle law. One law for the public and an exemption law for their preferred industry’s or government money grabbing departments. How does the government lead by example? Mass killing is better than single killing? How does legal 1080 killing and suffering make it right?  Legal does not make it any less painless or any more right or any less sickening.

    WHO is overseeing this native wildlife killing spree? Who is ultimately responsible for killing all these animals?  We are not talking about half a dozen animals, we are talking thousands, and that’s without counting the cost of what happens down the wildlife chain.

    As a wildlife officer has said to us - in the same evening he could drop off an injured wild animal to a carer, then half an hour later, give out a 1080 permit to allow the suffering and destruction of hundreds of other wildlife.  That’s apparently how progressive governments (or should that say destructive governments?) set-up their departments to keep the heat off.

    1080 A Legal Native Critter Killing Spree …there is no other word for it … it’s simply government hypocrisy, no matter how much they hide it on public land or try and bury it on public land.  Sickening isn’t it!

    Posted by Charles and Claire Gilmour  on  20/02/08  at  10:32 AM
  212. Re comment # 211 isn’t this the same D.P.I.W guy that had trouble sorting out the Glen Esk Road “fox kill driver” The anonymous one with the initials J.L and his mates that know how to use a microwave.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  20/02/08  at  03:57 PM
  213. Re #209, once again David Alford misrepresents my position.  I have never said that it would be a good idea to feed poisoned anything to a thylacine.  Yet again, all I was doing was disputing David’s assessment of the likely impacts from #178.  Actually I would like to see some further discussion of #179, which is much more interesting than #178, but Dr Obendorf appears to have gone to ground again - possibly a sign that he has been caught out pushing another sensationalist speculative claim that he actually cannot defend, or perhaps he is just “busy”.

    The second paragraph of #208 is perfectly clear.  David, if you can’t comprehend it, it may be not my writing, but your understanding of the ecology of exotic compared with native species, that is remiss. 

    The reason I did not answer your rephrased question about 1080 was that it involved a hypothetical situation that is genuinely not relevant to me (and that I don’t intend becoming so) and therefore it is pointless for me to pretend I could anticipate an answer to it. 

    Now you’re accusing me of lacking sincerity on the basis of an accusation that I am defending 1080. I’m sure there’s at least a subtle irony in there somewhere, but actually I am not defending 1080 at all.  If you search this site thoroughly you will find that I have repeatedly noted that over a decade ago the RSPCA recommended the banning of 1080 on animal welfare grounds alone.  Why would I bother mentioning this if I was pro-1080, as you wrongly assume me to be?

    However, I have noted that debates about 1080 are remarkably prone to inaccurate and excitable statements - the 1080 issue is one of the biggest nonsense magnets in Tasmanian public life.  If there are so many true and nasty things that can be said about the stuff, you ought to be able to oppose it using them alone without needing to claim that thylacines would have dropped from a whiff of it!

    There is still time for you to apologise for your false accusation of insincerity.  If you post again without doing so, expect me to consider you flamebait- I have been far more patient than your little misunderstandings deserve, but they seem to be becoming more extreme. 

    And my doctorate is in biogeography, not medicine, since you asked so nicely!

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  20/02/08  at  07:35 PM
  214. David Alford you can relax; according to the Tasmanian Legislative Council Hansard of the 30th October 2007 the only animals visiting 1080 fox bait sites (images taken from on site motion cameras) are the Tasmanian Devil, Spotted tail Quoll, Eastern Quoll, brush tailed possums, echidnas, feral cats and various other animals, no doubt domestic dogs.
    No Thylacine and definitely no fox.
    As brush tailed possums and bettongs are omnivorous no doubt they are having a chomp on the fox baits. I have personally noticed many brush tailed possums feeding off roadkill and shot animals left in the bush after culling operations. The brush possums seem to be taking more and more advantage of this reliable and increasing food source.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  21/02/08  at  09:07 AM
  215. Yes, Kevin I decided to research your work and found out you are a fellow malacologist and biogeographer, so we have something in common.

    I’ve also looked at some of your other posts. Apparently, you are bored with counting snails and like to argue for the fun of it. I have no problem with that in politics, but where we obviously differ, I happen to find the poisoning of Tasmania is a serious matter. As serious as extinction, and that is serious. As a fellow biologist, I find your arguments insincere and beneath your title.

    Should our paths cross again on another subject, I’ll be glad to treat any correspondence anew, w/o bias.

    btw, if you’re interested in cytogenetics of speciation, I hope we meet someday.

    Posted by David Alford  on  21/02/08  at  03:28 PM
  216. Ian, what a relief! No worse than our worst fears! Whew!

    Posted by David Alford  on  21/02/08  at  06:09 PM
  217. David (#215), strange coincidences aside, that’s still not good enough.  I’ve met or heard about some bloody weird malacologists in my time (some of them apparently make even me seem almost normal!). However, I haven’t previously had one go so totally out of their way to misunderstand and wrongly stereotype my views simply because I corrected them on a minor point. 

    I’m not quite sure how being a “biologist” would make you an authority on sincerity.  I suspect you are making the very common blunder (often made by scientists who lack sufficient background in philosophy) of assuming that expertise in a field entails a certain normative (often pro-conservation) view concerning it, that I must somehow be being insincere about.  However, my normative views on conservation issues have been expressed here as honestly as they can be many times before: I do care about genuine and clearly demonstrable extinction risks, but I am really not as much concerned about the fate of individual specimens of common and widespread species. Nor am I concerned about nebulous claims about impacts on rarer species unless these are well substantiated.

    It’s all very well for you to dish out insults and bogus claims of insincerity then say that should our paths cross again you will treat the slate as clean.  But you are the one who made it otherwise, and I will certainly not be letting you off the hook until your false claims of insincerity are at least retracted, and preferably apologised for.  Your strong views on the poisoning issue (the views of a self-described “tourist” who may or may not be informed) do not excuse you calling someone insincere just because their normative views (and probably their views of the hazards of 1080) do not align with your own.

    Your pseudo-probabilistic argument equating the chance of thylacines being still present to the chance of foxes being still present in #172 is, as it happens, nonsense.  Concerning thylacines, there are only “sightings” and extremely dodgy photos coming to light by way of modern evidence. Concerning foxes there are specimens claimed to have been collected here, and various other hard evidence, and the onus is on the skeptic to debunk those.  Furthermore (and more importantly) there have been many decades without hard evidence in the case of the thylacine, which provides good reason to doubt any anecdotal evidence concerning the species.  Saying that some people think something is true and some think it isn’t therefore the chance of it being true is about 50-50 is hardly scientifically sound!  My unqualified guess of the chance of the thylacine still being alive in this state would be 2% at most; I’d be less surprised if it was found alive in New Guinea than here.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  21/02/08  at  07:27 PM
  218. David Alford what are the chances of getting a film crew from the U.S.A. to have a look at all this?

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  21/02/08  at  08:22 PM
  219. Did Mr Llewellyn understand what he said on National Threatened Species day last year? It’s fairly obvious it was a feel good exercise for him, because ‘action’ plans don’t match the rhetoric.

    “Mr Llewellyn said although the national day is aimed at raising awareness of natives species considered at risk around the country, it should also be seen as an opportunity for people to learn a little more about all our native species.”

    Dead or alive, Mr Llewellyn?

    Obviously Mr Llewellyn is the one most in need of awareness of what is happening to native species, but apparently he’s incoherent - deaf as well as blind.

    “There are many native species that have either been lost or are in decline on the mainland that can still be commonly seen here,” Mr Llewellyn said.

    They won’t be common if the likes of Mr Llewellyn’s department continue on their merry ignorant way.

    “National Threatened Species day is an opportunity for us to recognise how special Tasmania is in providing a last refuge for many of these species.”

    What a hypocrite - As Mr Llewellyn’s Department continue to allow the destruction of not only the native wildlife refuge, but infact allow rare, and endangered species to be put at risk.

    “It is important for us all to recognise the important role we have in ensuring these species continue to survive for future generations to enjoy as well.”

    The balls in your court Mr Llewellyn. When will YOU recognise YOUR vital role?

    “Mr Llewellyn said although the State Government was involved in a range of programs aimed at ensuring the future survival of many species, it was important for all sectors of government, community and industry to continue to work together in conservation.”

    So plant 1080 on public land, allow 1080 on private land. What a wonderful program for the eradication of native wildlife. It’s blatantly obvious Mr Llewellyn won’t listen to community members, let alone work with them. Obviously it doesn’t pay as much!

    “Efforts, such as those focused on the Tasmanian devil, highlight that the most successful programs are those that harness the drive, expertise, and resources of private, public and community based organisations,” he said.

    Interesting that the pay is higher for some employees for fox baiting programs, the kill program, than the devil program, the survive program. Why is that, Mr Llewellyn? Is killing worth more than protecting?

    Posted by Charles and Claire Gilmour  on  21/02/08  at  09:29 PM
  220. Kevin, most of your reply #217 is a self serving response because someone dared ruffle your feathers. Take a deep breath, calm down. Be positive. After all I could have called you much worse things than being “insincere”! lol

    Regarding the thylacine, you may be right, although I personally give much greater odds, which is why I’m willing to spend significant amounts of my own money to research the issue. Further, most thylacine experts give the odds at much higher than 2% (you’re sure it might not be 3%? lol). Ask Nick Mooney what he (really) thinks…

    IF the thylacine is extinct in Tasmania, it is in large measure because of man’s stupidity. Yet, here, in 2008, we are continuing on a very similar path with Devils and Quolls at particular risk.

    I suggest you reread Ian Rist’s post #214, and rethink your statement: “Nor am I concerned about nebulous claims about impacts on rarer species unless these are well substantiated.”

    Regarding my willingness to bury the hatchet on other topics or threads in the future, you can always sue…!  :-)

    Posted by David Alford  on  22/02/08  at  05:39 AM
  221. David, given your excitable spouting of personal attacks and other nonsense, you’re hardly one to play that “calm down” card (yet another lame cliche so often employed by those it applies to, against those to whom it doesn’t!)  Furthermore, you provide no evidence that my post was self-serving, most likely because you have none and it wasn’t.

    As for Ian’s #214, Ivan Dean MLC asked Doug Parkinson the following questions:

    “(1)How many baits have been taken over this current calendar year?

    (2)What evidence is there to show that foxes have taken the baits?

    (3)Has any DNA testing been done of the locations where baits have been taken?

    (4)If there is no evidence consistent with foxes having taken the baits, what animals are taking the baits?

    (5)Is there any evidence of dogs taking the baits?

    (6)Have any dogs been poisoned or suffered suspected poisoning by a bait laid by the Fox Eradication Branch? “

    Parkinson replied:

    “(1)  Of the 19 228 baits laid by the Fox Eradication Program so far this calendar year, 2 001 baits were not retrieved when program members returned to retrieve them. Standard operating procedures for bait retrieval require that a search of the area is conducted to ensure a bait has not simply been removed and then discarded.

    (2)  There has been no evidence recovered to conclusively prove that a fox, or any other specific animal, has taken any of these baits.

    (3)  DNA testing has not been undertaken at the sites where baits have not been retrieved. The point of broad-scale, canid-targeted baiting is to ensure that any fox in the landscape cannot move freely without coming across at least one bait. The fox program has never claimed that all baits taken are taken by foxes. Rather, the aim is that should any fox in the area find and consume a bait, it will die. The baiting program is also designed so that if a native carnivore consumes a bait, the toxin level is not fatal.

    (4)  The fox program is undertaking a project to assess bait take, utilising infrared motion sensor cameras. A recent trial at more than a dozen bait locations produced pictures of spotted-tailed quolls, devils, brushtail possums, wombats, echidnas and feral cats all investigating the sites over six to eight nights. This project is being overseen by the fox program’s technical advisory panel, which includes internationally recognised fox experts.

    (5)  As indicated above, there is no clear evidence at any specific site to indicate what animal is responsible for the removal of the bait, however see answer to question 6.

    (6)  The safety of domestic and working dogs during baiting activities is paramount to the Fox Eradication Program. Owners of properties on which baits are to be laid are given information on the sensitivity of canids to the baits used, and advised to tether or confine their dogs for the period baits are in the ground. They are also offered muzzles for their dogs if it is not possible to keep them from the area in which baits are laid. Additionally, all neighbouring properties are advised of the baiting activity and the danger from the baits is highlighted, plus signage is placed at every entrance to a baited property.

    During the most recent baiting activity in the Midlands the owner of a property being baited, which had been baited a number of times in the past, allowed their dog to wander freely over the property and the dog did consume a bait. Testing conducted on the animal confirmed it had been poisoned by 1080. The owners acknowledged that they had not followed the advice provided by the program regarding the dog’s safety.”

    Clearly the video surveillance only provided evidence that these animals were seen around the baiting sites and/or investigating soil disturbance; no evidence was obtained of any specific species actually consuming baits. 

    Indeed the marginally-threatened spotted-tailed quoll is the only one for which taking fox bait might be a concern *if* it was taking baits in significant numbers *and* the 1080 levels involved were harmful to it (there being insufficient evidence of either).  The devil is a listed threatened species, but only because of a contagious tumour disease of unknown origin, prior to which it was common, and widespread, and secure . The remaining species listed are not threatened.

    You could indeed have said worse things about me than that, but they too would have been false, and had they not been modded for defo I would have shredded them as I have done with your insincerity nonsense.  Your apology is now two replies overdue.

    Concerning malacology and biogeography, what groups and where?  Feel free to email me the details - I looked quickly and there are many forum posts clearly by you online, but those malacological links I found that mentioned a David Alford appeared to refer to a Brit.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  22/02/08  at  12:08 PM
  222. Kevin, 1) my understanding is that trail cams have confirmed Devils and Quolls are taking the 1080 posioned baits, which is the worst possible outcome other than having a child poisoned.

    2) Lay off your personal sufferings, no one cares particularly since “insincerity” is harmless. If you have truly endured pain and suffering, you have my sympathies…

    3) My personal resume is off topic. If you want to know more, you can email me. Rest assured, I’m not looking for a job. lol

    Posted by David Alford  on  22/02/08  at  06:14 PM
  223. Kevin what would you say has taken the 2,001 baits from the 19,228 baits laid in 2007? If you honestly have accepted these animals pictured at the bait sites are not consuming meat baits you are easily misled… what else would carnivores and omnivores be doing excavating meat baits?
    In previous years according to the DPIW’s own figures they have had a 10% to 17% bait take from over a 120,000 laid 1080 meat baits… by what?
    I AM STILL WAITING FOR SOMEONE TO ANSWER MY QUESTION FROM POST # 192 Where and when were the Tasmanian Devil 1080 resistance tests done???
    I would also like to sincerely ask you Kevin Bonham, WHY do you defend this poison baiting atrocity?

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  22/02/08  at  08:45 PM
  224. David, if your personal resume is so off-topic then why did you even mention it?  Was it some kind of fish for special treatment in the hope that stating some link with me (public evidence of which is somewhat difficult to find) would cause me to think twice about flaming you for your ridiculous behaviour?

    Indeed, your claims gets more ridiculous by the post.  I’m not suffering here at all (apart from with tedium at your failure to provide remotely worthy opposition) but that doesn’t make your behaviour any less lame for an instant.  Would you like it if (completely hypothetically) I posted “David Alford is a liar” all over all of the various forums that you frequent, given that you believe calling someone “insincere” is harmless?  Of course, you calling me insincere is indeed quite harmless, because (i) in this instance, it is bollocks, and (ii) you are a fool who cannot argue, and who will not make it stick.  Nonetheless, your accusations *are* contemptible and I see no reason not to call them on that basis, and treat the person (ir)responsible for them accordingly, until he apologises.

    Your tourist “understanding” of so many things has seemed quite dubious at best.  Whether what you say about devils and quolls being filmed eating baits is or is not true, no-one should take your word for it alone as evidence.  In any case, I was simply pointing out why nothing in Ian’s #214 carries the weight you think it does.  #214 does not substantiate claims about impacts on particular species.  Even direct evidence of those species taking the baits is not, alone, sufficient.

    Ian, kinda sorry to impose one of my flamewars on the quiet backwaters of fox-sceptics’ corner, but when this Alford chappie responds to factual disagreements with personal attacks then these things will happen; perhaps you and Dr O could encourage him to desist? ;) Anyway all I was saying is that we do not know *from that information you cited alone* which particular animals are taking the baits and in what numbers. 

    As for your question, your premise is wrong.  I am not defending poison-baiting at all - I am merely attacking the frequently poor arguments used in the debate, in this case by this blow-in Alford with his nonsense about thylacines being as susceptible as dogs.  If someone showed up here and argued that animals poisoned by 1080 die immediately with no suffering, or if someone said that only very common species are ever poisoned, I would get stuck into them too.

    One of the animals listed was the echidna.  Are you saying that echidnas filmed investigating baiting sites later ate the baits?

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  22/02/08  at  10:32 PM
  225. ” one of the animals listed was the echidna.  Are you saying that echidnas filmed investigating baiting sites later ate the baits?
    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham on 22/02/08 at 11:32 PM “
        I remember stating in a recent post that bonham does show a modicum of smarts, it’s just a pity that—————— however in view of his above statement, i retract that notion unreservedly , for christ sake ! i ‘m pretty certain that echidna’s are not meat eaters, and that the thylacine was ! so why would one make that connection?  or does he expect absolute scientific proof of that FACT ! ...dd

    Posted by don davey  on  23/02/08  at  01:58 AM
  226. Kevin what animals do you think are taking the 1080 meat baits? Please answer specifically and precisely.
    Still no mention of the Tasmanian Devil 1080 resistance test(s) from anyone.
    Where did I say Echidnas were taking baits? I said quite specifically Echidnas were also photographed at 1080 meat bait sites, one could however.accurately assume that if carnivores are excavating meat baits they are consuming them also.
    I do not accept answers given on foxes and fox baits in the Parliament to be 100% truth… I have noted and recorded from Hansard on at least four occasions where answers given, I know are not accurate to say the least.
    I do not intend to air these in this public forum,however there is a day coming when I WILL BE REQUIRED TO UNDER OATH.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  23/02/08  at  07:03 AM
  227. One of the animals listed was the echidna. Are you saying that echidnas filmed investigating baiting sites later ate the baits?

    The echidnas probably thought it a wonderful source of dead insects, maggots and snails.

    Just as a matter of interest, what happens if they do find a dead thylocene? Do you think they will they just quietly bury it?

    Posted by Gerry Mander  on  23/02/08  at  07:17 AM
  228. Yeah c’mon everyone lets create a little bit misunderstanding and misinformation on the already muddied waters of the great fox debate…hard cold facts are; not one single fox has been recovered from a massive amount of expenditure. Not one fox trapped, shot, poisoned or even photographed in almost seven years of this nonsense.

    Re-cycled road kill is all we have got, along with a few other bits of easily transported items. You want dead fox for evidence, I can bring over as many as you want any night of the year. And despite what a lot of people think and have been led to believe, there is no law against bringing into Tasmania dead foxes.

    Wake up Tasmania,you HAVE been hoodwinked.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  23/02/08  at  08:23 AM
  229. Kevin, I didn’t give my resume, nor is it appropriate here. btw, no one cares about yours, either.

    Or, to repeat, you can email me and I’ll answer your specific question regarding “what groups and where”.

    Alternatively, when I’m next in Hobart, we can have a meeting. Nothing could be more friendly than two fellow malacologists chatting about their research, right? lol

    Maybe I’m wrong, but I suspect you managed a bit of state funding for your snail work. Won’t hurt to go on record for being supportive of the state’s fox program, will it?

    Therefore, can we cut to the chase and ask, “are you in favor of the current program of fox baiting using 1080”?  And if you aren’t, why not?

    Will you be so bold to answer?

    Posted by David Alford  on  23/02/08  at  12:48 PM
  230. Don, thankyou for coming in and scoring that own goal against your team! (#225)  My point in asking the rhetorical question was to get exactly the answer you have given - that echidnas (being primarily insectivores) are very unlikely to take baits.  Therefore, the fact that an animal was filmed visiting a digging site does not automatically prove that it was taking baits there, since the echidna gives one example of an animal that was presumably doing so for other reasons.  Other specific animals named, although mostly capable of eating the baits if they managed to dig them up (wombats? I don’t think so!), were not necessarily investigating the disturbances with a view to digging up and eating the baits, or if they were aiming to do so, were not necessarily successful. 

    Don, given that you are personally attacking me (again!) while agreeing with me and supporting my case at the same time, your question “just why is this individual allowed to continue on almost every post with his raving lunacy, constantly, attacking other poster’s [sic] unchecked ! [sic] and with no valid reason ?”  applies far more to you than to me! 

    If Linz ever wants to put in standards preventing unreasonable personal attacks I will be the first to benefit from them.  Bring it on!

    Ian (#226), I specifically and precisely do not know what animals were taking them.  They could have been some subset of the list of animals filmed, or others (hopefully including a small number of foxes, if there are any still out there) may have been involved as well.  The Nick Mooney article at mentions experimental evidence that devils and at least eastern quolls take baits, but importantly they appear to do so only after the bait has rotted and not while it is fresh (in which state it is far more toxic). I suspect possums and cats would eat the baits if they excavated them successfully, but whether they do so or not I do not know.

    Ian, my reason for asking about echidnas was that you asked “If you honestly have accepted these animals pictured at the bait sites are not consuming meat baits you are easily misled… what else would carnivores and omnivores be doing excavating meat baits?”  Echidnas are certainly not vegans and are one of the animals pictured, but I honestly accept that *they* are not consuming meat baits, and I don’t think that makes me easily misled!  :)

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  23/02/08  at  12:50 PM
  231. (228)
        I am in complete agreement and believe that there must be some way to get the Police dept interested in what has turned into a scam of huge proportion! having said that ! i wait with baited breath for a new find in the near future seeing as there is renewed interest.

    Posted by don davey  on  23/02/08  at  01:35 PM
  232. “Just as a matter of interest, what happens if they do find a dead thylocene? Do you think they will they just quietly bury it?”

    Good question, Gerry! One would tremble at such a scene…the ultimate boomerang of man’s stupidity - again.

    And whether or not that scene ever occurs, the boomerang of stupidity will smack us again (and again!).

    Thylacine, deforestation, poisoning of our own water supplies, tens of thousands of 1080 poison baits throughout the heartland of Tasmania…when will we learn? Perhaps when the size of Antarctica approximates the size of a few ice cubes?

    Posted by David Alford  on  23/02/08  at  01:39 PM
  233. Dear David Alford,

    You have just wandered on to sacred ground. You have entered the domain of the great Doctor Kev. You have mentioned a bug or a snail, and that is the sole province of the said Doctor. Anything with more than four, or less than two legs is part of his empire. All that dwells under a flat stone or on the underside of a leaf or twig is his and his alone. He will brook no competition in this his chosen field. To enter it is sacrilege, and to offer an opinion is tantamount to blasphemy. No, you have commited a cardinal sin and you are to be castigated.

    ‘I suspect you are making the very common blunder (often made by scientists who lack sufficient background in philosophy)’

    Unless your philosophy is founded on the doctrines of Stirner and Popper, you are a no-no. Beelzebub’s own studies dismiss the previous 2-3000 thousand years of philosophical thought as almost entirely insignificant or religious rubbish. In his domain, it is entirely mathematical ‘Proof’ that is required, demanding chapter and verse, and usually references to somewone else’s work, but no credit for your own expertise. The minutiae of a claim or argument are his ammunition for taking a personal shot at the messenger, and even a typo error is enough to discredit the offender and prove he is a fool and that his opinions are unworthy, lack the necessary depth and are to be dismissed without consideration by King Kev as ‘unsubstantiated twaddle’.

    No David, you are out of your depths when wading into the ego-infested waters of Kev-the-Great. Your copy book is blotted, and there is no erasing the writing on the wall. It will follow you for ever ..... there is no forgiveness. You will be cast into outer darkness, along with all the other contributors to TT that have dared to comment, question or challenge an opinion ... and that, if you look carefully through the threads, is most of them.

    Welcome to the throng.

    There is only room for one doctor in this village!

    Gerry Mander

    Posted by Gerry Mander  on  23/02/08  at  07:38 PM
  234. Hey Gerry, good one mate! Ya’ I’ve also been forewarned Kevin WILL have the last word…

    btw, Kevin reminds me of a beetle (or was it a stink bug?) I had netted, gased, and then proceded to stick a pin through for my entomology collection when I was a youngster.

    But, he didn’t go easy! Not at all, the little bugger kept waving his appendages about like he thought the world was ending. He never realized he had been had; poor little guy! Yes, it was quite frightful, that desire to…well, “to overcome.”

    Years later, I saw he was still in his little box…Kinda’ sad, actually…but that can be a bug’s lot in the world. Not to worry, plenty more to replace him. We can be sure of that!

    Posted by David Alford  on  23/02/08  at  11:06 PM
  235. Don, in all seriousness, a lawsuit against you-know-who (no, not you, Kevin!) could be initiated on the basis of probable wanton destruction of Tasmanian wildlife. And SHOULD be filed with actual evidences of Devil, Quoll, etc. poisonings.

    At this very moment, the 1080 baits are out there…and so is the evidence…

    Posted by David Alford  on  23/02/08  at  11:35 PM
  236. David, contrary to your claim that no-one cares about my dog’s-breakfast of a resume, actually I now and then get all kinds of tryhards here going into Sherlock Holmes mode, digging up bits of it and frothing excitably over their silly misunderstandings thereof.  Indeed, the comments section of the Mooney thread I already linked to above contains an example of this sort of rubbish.

    Even you mildly contradict your own disinterest by speculating about the sources of my own research funding.  You do so in a way that implies I would express my opinions in a certain way with a view to my career prospects, when actually if I was that obsessed with careerism I could far more effectively advance it by not posting here at all and spending the time I spend here out looking for more contracts!

    You seem to suffer from the same strange delusion as Dr Obendorf, who also imagines I might go out of my way to meet with him, when he has not yet proven himself worth the bother (or even deserving of the implied approval involved) by apologising for past false attempts to harm my reputation.  Sharing common interests is one thing, but I have many interests and many people I can discuss them with (in one way or another); I will not even consider meeting with you until you have at least publicly retracted your false claims that my views are insincere.

    You may think that having an advocative view for or against something when not sufficiently informed to comment on all relevant aspects of something is “boldness”, but it can just as easily be presumption and stupidity.  There are many relevant aspects of fox ecology that are crucial to forming a useful for-or-against view that I just don’t know enough about, and I prefer to leave the advocative running on these to fox experts.  However, as is the case with many other environmental debates in this state, I have noticed that the *ecological* arguments being made against the practice are mostly total rubbish, and those that are not rubbish are generally speculative and also of relatively little importance compared with the potential harm the fox could do.

    (I could debunk the many ways in which Gerry’s over-the-top unsubstantiated satire attempt misses its mark, but I am far too busy laughing at it!)

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  24/02/08  at  12:08 AM
  237. I am still waiting for ANYONE to tell me when the Tasmanian Devil 1080 resistance test(s) were done and by whom.
    Actually did the Upper house put the fox inquiry to the vote last year 17th April 2007… there was a 11 in favour to 4 against vote for an inquiry. For some reason it was squashed in the lower house. I would have of thought the Minister for Police and the D.P.I.W would have welcomed some sort of investigation to clear up this mess.
    After all his own Police Department told him in July 2001 that there was NO EVIDENCE to support the allegation that persons bought in foxes and released them in Tasmania.
    This is all freely available under F.O.I.
    The Hansard of the Leg.Council of the 17th April 2007 makes interesting reading… Don, I think they will dodge and weave for a bit longer yet.
    There is an old saying that goes like this “the longer the piece of rope gets,the more it hurts when it stops”

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  24/02/08  at  03:04 AM
  238. Kevin, re: your “dog-breakfast of a resume”, it’s good to know you have a sense of humor. Whew! What a relief!

    Now, to your statement: “I have noticed that the *ecological* arguments being made against the practice are mostly total rubbish, and those that are not rubbish are generally speculative and also of relatively little importance compared with the potential harm the fox could do.”

    The fact is, we have scant evidence any foxes are extant in Tasmania, much less a viable population. Secondly, we do know how many 1080 poison baits are being put out, and how many have “disappeared”. Fourthly, we have supportive photographic evidence of Devils, Quolls, Echidna, etc. at the bait stations (if not actually taking the poison).

    Given the increasingly precarious position of Devils, in particular, the continued use of 1080 poisoning should be stopped immediately for further review. Being slapped with a impending lawsuit, might provide just the right amount of motivation to the “powers that be” to stop and think for a moment of the consequences.

    Moreover, Kevin, you are the one arguing against speculation. So, let’s get the facts. For starters, let’s have a independent review of the effects of 1080 poisoning on Tasmanian wildlife.

    Clearly, this should have been done BEFORE endangering Tasmania’s wildlife and BEFORE spending millions of dollars of taxpayers’ hard earned monies. Better late than never since there is no end in sight of the continuation of the poisoning of Tasmania.

    Given the extreme consequences of being wrong, an independent review should be instigated this year, the sooner the better.

    Posted by David Alford  on  24/02/08  at  07:38 AM
  239. The crap that is out there about 1080 won’t kill this,but it is deadly on this etc.etc
    So much propaganda,even the DPIW’s little table under DPIW-1080 is a joke. They very carefully avoid mentioning the threatened Spotted Tailed Quoll( THEY MENTION THE EASTERN QUOLL WITH A HIGHER TOLERANCE-3.7 MG/KILOGRAM) because they know the lethal dose of 1080 is very low for the Spotted Tailed Quoll. The LD50 for this particular Quoll is 1.85 mg per kilogram bodyweight, Tasmanian fox baits are 3mg per bait,and there is no guarantee the baits are as low as exactly 3mg per bait,because of the manufacturing process.
    I agree with David Alford, a law suit against these criminals laying these baits would be in order. Even so time will judge them as it did with the Thylacine.
    One thing I expected to crop up was the “independent” review of the fox report commissioned by the Govt. You know the one that appeared just after all the “evidence” was flying about in the form of squashed cub remains at penguin rookeries,blood in chook pens etc.etc.
    About as “independent” as Dracula in charge of the blood bank.
    Have a good look at who is making the big money out of this rort. I have explained this about 200 comments ago.
    As I said previously follow the money trail.
    The people “called on to eradicate the ‘foxes’ or the people that supply the means to eradicate the ‘foxes’ with”.
    They will dodge and weave for a while, but I think that long piece of rope will hang a few in the end.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  24/02/08  at  07:40 AM
  240. Kevin, come on comment #236- the potential harm the fox could do… Dingoes,Silver Back Jackals,Indian wild dogs,Leopards would do a lot of damage…but there aren’t any here either.
    We heard all this crap in the early days,foxes would shut down the fine wool industry,the lamb industry,the tourist industry. There are a lot of foxes on the mainland but these industries mentioned seem to be still doing very well.
    What alarmist nonsense,crisis building again. Where do the get these figures from? Certainly not from Tasmanian export figures.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  24/02/08  at  07:54 AM
  241. In all seriousness, there has been no toxicity testings done for any of the native Tasmanian wildlife to any of the pesticides presently or historically used. It defies belief that pesticides - designed only to kill cells - can be let loose in water catchments in various combinations, strenghts etc at different timings with no approprite risk evaluations. Are we just saying that these creatures do not matter? Even when they (freshwater crayfish, Tas Devil etc) are listed as vulnerable, endangered species etc no attempt is being made to even address this issue. Mind you, no toxicity evaluation is done for humans with regard to chemical mixtures, so we obviously don’t matter that much either. No acute deaths seem to be occurring from this (how would we know?), so it’s just “business as usual”.

    Posted by alison bleaney  on  24/02/08  at  08:45 AM
  242. Twenty seven years ago in 1981, John McIllroy published a paper entitled: The Sensitivity of Australian Animals to 1080 Poison II. Marsupials and Eutherian Carnivores [Australian Journal of Zollogy Volume 8: Pages 385-399]. His research is still the basis of the use of 1080 poison in Australia.

    In answer to Ian Rist’s question, John conducted experimental infections on 24 Tasmanian devils to determine the lethal dose (LD) of 1080 to this species as well as to 5 species of small dayurid marsupials, three quolls, a bandicoot, the domestic cat and the dingo. John McIllroy was very careful in his calculation of the LD50 for 1080 and then extremely careful in his determination of the way this poison might be used against target species like the dingo (in the 1980s) or now for, fox & cat (in the 1990 & 2000s onwards). 

    Here is his statement on planning a bait concentration to target a specific species in an environment where non-target species are likely to consume the baits.

    “If the aim is to obtain maximum control with minimum dose, it would be best to plan the baiting on the basis of a LD50 based on twice the upper confidence limit of the LD50 and based on the weight of the heaviest specimen reported.

    In contrast, to assess the hazard to a non-target species, calculations might be best based on the lower confidence limit of the LD50 or some lower figure, and either the mean weight or a much lower body weights of, for instance, immature animals.”

    “From the viewpoint of trying to safeguard tiger cats (Dasyurus maculatus), therefore, it is necessary to keep 1080 concentrations in baits as low as possible.”

    Currently the the meat baits in Tasmania contain 3 mg of 1080 per bait; the AVPMA registers 1080 baits to contain 2.5 mg per meat bait for use against foxes.

    Ian Rist and interested other might care to do their own analysis (as I have done) and do the calculations for lethal effect for Tasmanian devils, tiger quolls, Tasmanian bettongs, etc with the margin for safety that McIllroy is suggesting should be part of a targeted baiting program against an unwanted species such as the fox with maximum BWt of 6-7kgm. Compare this with the minimum sub-adult body weights of quoll & devils [ LD50 of 4.24 mg & 95% confidence limits of 2.76-6.60 mg/kgm for devils and 1.85 (95% CL of 1.28-2.68 mg/kgm) for tiger quolls].

    Take into account that foxes, like other canids, are highly susceptible to secondary poisoning from eating 1080-poisoned animals as the fox’s LD50 is only 0.09 mg/kgm BWt (95% CL of 0.07 - 0.15).

    And the last word from John (1981): “This study indicates that the possibility of primary and secondary poisoning of non-target carnivores could be reduced or averted by a careful management of poisoning operations. These should be carried out in such a way as to minimize the concentration of 1080 in meat baits that non-target carnivores may eat, or, in the case of other baiting campaigns, to reduce the number of lethal doses of 1080 that animals ingest by eating poisoning plant-derived baits [carrot, swede & apple baits containing 1080]. Finally it must be stressed that this paper (McIllroy, 1981) has been a hypothetical evaluatuion, based on LD50s, and the dangers carnivores face from primary and sceondary poisoning from 1080. Although more details on the amounts of baits or parts of a carcass and their toxic residues that each member of a free-living population will consume would no doubt refine the hypothetical evalutaion, an exact evaluation could be obtained by monitoring field populations before and after poisoning campaigns.”

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  24/02/08  at  11:55 AM
  243. David A (#234), far from sticking a pin through your intended target, you’ve missed me by a very wide margin and put the pin through your own finger.  Repeatedly.  This particular hemipteran doesn’t take kindly to failed attempts by pin it, and typically responds by pinning the would-be pinner slowly and painfully with the remaining contents of the box. 

    Re #235 and #236, I realise you come from a country where pointless litigation is a national sport, but under what law would someone file such a lawsuit here?  EPBC Act?  You’d need evidence of actual harm to a threatened species for that one, and there doesn’t seem to be any. 

    I am not arguing against speculation per se, but I am arguing against the passing off of improbable speculation as fact, as in your original assertion comparing the susceptibility of dogs with that of thylacines.

    I am also arguing against the use of complete speculation as a basis for public policy.  There is currently zero evidence whatsoever that 1080 baiting for foxes is creating a significant risk for threatened species.  The studies that have been done (again see the Mooney article linked above) show that to the extent that baits appear to be taken by these native marsupials, they are taken only once rotted, at which point they are even further below those species’ lethal dose than they were to begin with. To suspect this could be causing them significant harm on the basis of a few studies showing harm to rats and sheep very repeatedly exposed to a substantial portion of their lethal dose is completely speculative.

    In the case of foxes, there is now a substantial body of claimed hard evidence.  Unless this evidence can be shown to be nearly all fabricated or misinterpreted then there is a strong case that there are some foxes - not necessarily a breeding population but a few kicking around all the same - in Tasmania. 

    The “increasingly precarious position of Devils” is a red herring because the sole significant threat to that species is a contagious tumour of unknown origin.  Unless that disease proves capable of destroying devil populations *statewide* leaving only a tiny number of survivors, then the species is not actually at risk of extinction anyway, and should this happen then it’s very unlikely to be the effect of sub-lethal 1080 doses on a few specimens within fox target areas that determine whether the species makes it.  It has been encouraging to hear reports that western populations may be more resistant to the condition.

    Also, use of the precautionary principle is ineffective in the fox-baiting debate (as it is in nearly every debate) because a precautionary approach carries a potential risk far greater than the risk of the treatment being applied.  All one can do is weigh up the risks and probabilities involved, to the extent that they are known.  The “extreme consequences of being wrong” about the fox seem curiously absent from your lopsided, probably ideologically-motivated view.

    (I note here as requested that David A has now supplied me with information on his malacological interests, showing in particular that he has worked on the genetics of a common marine bivalve.)

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  24/02/08  at  05:39 PM
  244. Ian (#240), I have no knowledge concerning the veracity or otherwise of projections of foxes causing economic harm.  My concern is mainly with the potential threat they pose to numerous species of small mammal.

    I’m not sure I see the point of your repeated question concerning where the McIlroy studies were carried out.  I don’t know the answer, and I don’t see why it matters.  I suspect you can find out who funded the studies quite easily by reading McIlroy’s papers on the subject.

    Yes there are all kinds of animals that could do harm if they were released here, but smuggling in a leopard could be a little more difficult than a fox, and furthermore Tasmania has obvious close port links to a place where foxes are abundant that has already been the likely source of one absolutely undisputed fox escape.  There is no reason to believe any of the other animals you mention are likely to become established in Tasmania.

    Alison (#241) - this thread is about foxes and 1080 poisoning thereof (with the odd little diversion where some fool attempts to start a flamewar with me.)  It is not about the general issue of chemical testing - take it to one of the zillions of other more general poison threads on this site.

    David O (#242) - firstly I note your lack of response to my question in #181.  On this basis I expect these questions to go unanswered too, but: Do you have any evidence that bettongs would dig up and eat a meat bait, let alone a fresh one, or is the mention of bettongs just an absolute red herring?  Secondly, why have you not factored in the decay of 1080 as the bait decomposes to the point where a devil or quoll is likely to dig it up and eat it into your calculations?  Or do you have evidence of these species digging up and eating fresh baits?  I again refer readers to the Nick Mooney article at which appears to deal with many of the kinds of points David O has raised in his extremely selective presentation of a portion of the relevant data.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  24/02/08  at  06:06 PM
  245. The better alternative is to forgo 1080 and use live traps with fox scent attractant. We do not know what effect 1080 has on the reproductive system or pregnancies of Devils, Quolls, etc. Adults could survive, offspring may not. Additionally, adults may survive a dosage of 1080 in a cage, but in the wild might be too weak to hunt or forage successfully.

    Everyone is guessing. We don’t know, and therefore 1080 should never have been used. To continue is madness, and yes, there certainly may be liability.

    Posted by David Alford  on  24/02/08  at  08:00 PM
  246. Ok! 
            it appears that everyone apart from his nibs is in agreement that something should be done! and there are many here who have much more info than myself according to the wealth of facts and figures and graphs etc of how much and just what poisons are being used and exist in our water catchments etc, and this being so , just what can be done ! as those like myself can “take on board” much of this information ! but can it be substantiated ? and with respect ! i suggest that it can be done only by those who are offering up these facts .
            i personally have little to offer in that dept but i don,t mind being a(grunt)or a soldier (so to speak) and do what i can to bring the truth to the relevant dept’s , personally ! i feel it’s an issue for the police, so how about we stop the point scoring and find ways of doing something substantive.

    Posted by don davey  on  25/02/08  at  12:01 AM
  247. This post has reached 244 hits , and i reckon that talk’s bloody cheap and something should be done an in the absense of any other action i have sent the letter set out below and sent it to the three tasmanian papers,  now ! that’s a bloody start maybe it will get a run and maybe not but i’m trying ! so how about the rest of you, are you about to stand up and be counted ?  as if they get enough letter’s they will be forced to take notice! so please feel free to use mine if you feel it suits the purpose.
      C’mon get off the fence ! there ‘s been enough f———g talk !


        Some years ago i went on record as having seen three Fox carcases , on or about 1970—-1971 which as told to me had been bred by some midlands landed gentry for their organised fox hunts!  said hunt’s were reputed to have been attended by many influential people.
        Because of that admission i feel somewhat uneasy that it may have contributed to the notion that foxes are here in Tasmania and the program of laying 1080 which i believe is a contributing factor in the incidence of Devil tumours and is in fact wiping out many other animals, whilst finding it’s way into our water catchments and perhaps contributing to the abnormally high incidence of several cancers that are said to exist in Tasmania.
        I wish to go on record in stating that i do not believe for a moment that foxes escaped and bred nor do they exist now ! and that the millions of taxpayer dollars spent on this farce plus the many millions earmarked for future baiting and hunting ! in my opinion is nothing but a scam !  organised by who ,  who knows !    but i firmly believe that there should be a POLICE inquiry into just where these millions of taxpayer dollars are being spent !. and specifically by whom !
                                                      Don davey
                      32 eardley st
                    03 63431531

    Posted by don davey  on  25/02/08  at  12:40 AM
  248. David,s statement (238) of echidna’s having been at the bait’s was qualified by his statement that (if not actually taking the poison) my critisism of bonham’s opinion (238) stands!


    Posted by don davey  on  25/02/08  at  01:12 AM
  249. Kevin, BIG, BIG MISTAKE.#243 This statement… There is currently zero evidence whatsoever that 1080 baiting for foxes is creating a significant risk for threatened species.
    Baits taken once rotted #243… convenient gobbly gock from the master of gobbly gock.
    My experience from being in the Tasmanian bush all my life is that the Tasmanian Devil has no peer when it comes to finding fresh meat. I learnt this when very young from hanging up shot deer in a tree at last light of an evening (Oatlands,Table Mountain area)... the Devils were there within a matter of hours. Later in life burying sheep that had to be destroyed where dug up and consumed that night(Blessington area)
    As for fabrication and hoaxing etc.etc.etc.,that will all be very carefully investigated, shortly.
    “I am not sure I see your point about Devil resistance testing” Kevin for heavens sake, that is the whole point!
    Kevin, bow out gracefully,I am losing respect for you with these rants. Stick to topics you are good at i.e. elections ,politics etc.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  25/02/08  at  07:40 AM
  250. Kevin, try to be more accurate in your conclusions. I never said the thylacine would necessarily suffer the same fate as a 1080 poisoned dog. I said it would be susceptible to the same fate. There is a significant difference. As you admit, we really don’t know.

    Re: your statement: “a precautionary approach carries a potential risk far greater than the risk of the treatment being applied.” -
    Rather, the opposite may be true, which is the basis for this continuing dialogue.

    Regarding lawsuits, could one be filed and have a case of stopping the poisoning of Tasmania? Very likely.
    The ARTICLE you refer to is full of holes, particularly to long term effects on native fauna. Was that issue addressed? The answer is “NO”. Why not? The answer is lack of “due diligence.”
    Is lack of “due diligence” a basis for a lawsuit? The answer is “most certainly”.

    This would be an issue for concerned Tasmanians and their respective conservation groups to decide, not me (or you).

    You’ll have to excuse me from continuing this “debate” as I have an expedition to prepare for. Let me add, contrary to some, I do value “dialogue”. When we’re all thinking alike, some of us aren’t thinking…Thank you for your opinions.

    Posted by David Alford  on  25/02/08  at  07:52 AM
  251. If this was my money being wasted on this fox farce,and I was responsible i.e Minister, Premier, Prime Minister… the first place I would be looking after this fruitless exercise would be the senior management of the D.P.I.W and the senior management of the Tasmanian National Parks and Wildlife Service.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  25/02/08  at  06:49 PM
  252. Wadayarekon ” Paul ” ?
        We know that you read this forum ! so how about coming clean and explaining to we taxpayers just where the millions of our dollars are going and why!
        There are no foxes ! except for those treading the boards of parliament house.
        So !  wadayarekon “Paul” ?


    Posted by don davey  on  25/02/08  at  10:45 PM
  253. David (#250), there’s no point trying to spin what you said to get yourself off the hook, especially not if you accompany it with an attack on my comprehension skills when I have repeatedly demonstrated yours to be feeble further up.  You said a thylacine *would* be susceptible to the same fate, not that it *might* be.  You continue to assert that the thylacine definitely would be susceptible although there is zero evidence for this view and quite a deal against it. 

    I note you make several unsubstantiated claims about the law.  You are, by your own admission, a tourist from America (sticking your nose into our ecology - haven’t you got enough problems in that light at home?)  You provide no evidence of having any expertise in the field of law.  I therefore ignore your opinions on legal matters and advise everyone else to do likewise.

    Not quite sure what you’re getting at in your implied claim that the potential risk of 1080 baiting might be greater than the potential risk of foxes.  If it’s that 1080 fox-baits might cause the extinction of a species known to be still extant, then that possibility is so remote as to be ludicrous, especially given that only a small proportion of each species’ range is baited, among other points.  If it’s that 1080 might kill a thylacine, if the thylacine was still hanging around the sorts of settled and rural places that are now getting baited for foxes, it would certainly not have gone undetected. 

    (One thing that outsiders who believe the thylacine still exists often fail to realise is that the best habitats for said unfortunate animal were the ones that have been most trashed, while the vast Tasmanian wilderness carried relatively low prey loads and hence is unlikely to support ongoing populations.)

    I cited the Mooney article to debunk particular claims (in particular the one-sided and selective presentation of evidence by Dr Obendorf).  I did not claim that the article answered every possible question about the issue, and nor in fact does the article.  All it points out is that such information as we know is not compatible with many of the claims that have been made about the impacts of 1080.

    Concerning your claim of lack of “due diligence” regarding research on long-term impacts of 1080, a view I’ve seen expressed about the McIlroy studies is that they can never be repeated or broadened for several of the species listed because of the difficulty of getting research ethics and threatened species work approval. 

    You can probably do similar studies on all the rats and sheep you like but no animal is an exact model for any other anyway, and using non-resistant animals as models for resistant animals would be pseudoscience.  It is hardly a lack of diligence to fail to do something if you would not be allowed to do it!

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  26/02/08  at  01:06 AM
  254. Don, your #248 is incomprehensible babble. 

    Ian, your #249 isn’t much better.  It only makes one intelligible point that I can see, and that point isn’t all that convincing.  Saying that the devil is good at finding fresh meat when it is sitting uncovered in a tree (which I know devils are actually not as bad at climbing as some might think!) is clearly not the same thing as saying that it is good at digging up fresh meat that has been buried. 

    Also, assuming devils did dig up the carcasses you refer to (you don’t say whether you had evidence it was them), a whole sheep carcass is a very different matter from a small meat bait.  Perhaps the devil can smell the larger item through the ground, but not the smaller.  Perhaps it could smell the sheep carcass before it was buried and used its noggin (surely not beyond a devil, even though they are reputedly pretty thick) to work out what had happened.  There are many possible explanations. 

    Indeed, Nick Mooney’s article provides not only evidence based on actual studies (which I suppose you’ll believe to be frauds) that devils are poor at finding buried baits but also a completely plausible explanation of why devils would be poor at finding buried meat - they have no evolutionary need to do so. 

    As for “loss of respect” and “rants”, since you have yet again resorted to personal attacks (not to mention ranting!) in my direction instead of just debating the point, your respect is worthless and irrelevant and I shall be better off without it! And I shan’t be taking any lessons on “grace” from anyone who uses the term “gobbly gock” (???) simply because some posts he doesn’t agree with have words too large for his attention span.

    As for sticking to what I am good at, let I remind you that I am a scientist first and foremost, and a political commentator on the side.  While I am not a specialist in mammals, it seems that my general scientific background is more than enough to dispose of some of the nonsense on display here (including from Dr O, who should of course know better.)

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  26/02/08  at  01:31 AM
  255. Gerry Mander, thank you for your comment #233.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  26/02/08  at  09:44 AM
  256. Kevin you have alienated more people on this site than I care to count…stand back, look in the mirror and ask yourself why?
    What is your problem?

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  26/02/08  at  09:46 AM
  257. Kevin, re: thylacine susceptibility, I DID say “would” not “might”. Can you read? Then, would you please reread my post #250, first paragraph?

    Regarding your comment outsiders believe this or that about the thylacine, that’s true but it also applies to Tasmanians. WE just don’t know (that includes you), but I can assure you I wouldn’t be spending my own$$$ if I didn’t think the odds were reasonable. OTOH, if I thought it was a cinch, I wouldn’t be interested, either.

    But guess, what, I win either way for reasons that have already come true.

    Posted by David Alford  on  26/02/08  at  04:08 PM
  258. Well look at this.  After dodging various completely reasonable questions about the science of the issue that I asked him, Dr Obendorf (#255) now pops up again to lamely me-too a blatant (and hilariously silly!) piece of clueless trolling by that sad old froth-head “Gerry Mander”, thus throwing in his lot with exactly the kind of tactics he is supposed to have spent much of his life fighting.  My sympathy for David’s anecdotally famous whistleblower past ebbs further out the door every time we get another strange lame “public utterance” from him, although there is the possibility that he was so traumatised as to be unable to function usefully in debate, and I shall try to always keep that in mind.

    Readers with extremely long memories may recall that when Dr Obendorf wrote an “article” for this site on “convenient untruths” I drew his attention to some “convenient untruths” he had disseminated about my research (  That was over a year ago and despite him even making a presumptuous (not to mention completely unnecessary) offer to meet with me over his slurs (which I declined and instead emailed him concerning the issue), he has still done nothing I am aware of to rectify his factual negligence.  I have given up any hope of him doing so, and concluded that he lacks the willingness to correct all errors made on the public record, that in my view is essential for a scientist to make fully useful public contributions to debate. 

    Ian (#256), you seem to be borrowing from the Don Davey phrasebook with your latest question.  I already disposed of that silly nonsense *twice* when Don asked it, but once more with feeling for those who came in late: The zealotry of many of the green types on this site is such that even the most polite expression of a dissenting view is unpalatable to them and must be personally attacked, as if TT is their sacred corner of the internet and how dare anyone who is not satisfactorily greenwashed set foot on it.  Once people respond to differences of opinion with personal attacks, they are the ones doing the alienating, and it just happens that I’m more keen on calling it like I see it than on reconciling the differences (especially if they are unwilling to apologise). Some of a conflict-averse nature (forum hippies, as I call them) then get turned off by me taking the long handle to the offenders, but what is curious is how little of their criticism they are able to find for those who initiated it. 

    As for alienation, how funny you should talk about that.  I used to be happy to exchange views with you whether we agreed or not, but now in this latest exchange you are continually flinging trash and insults in my direction, unprovoked by anything but my failure to toe the line with your fox crusade, and it has forced me to develop a negative view of your efforts.  You might like to consider that before you lecture others on the subject of diplomacy.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  26/02/08  at  07:33 PM
  259. Don,t think he has a problem Ian , except the one of continued and or future gratification from his “masters”. 
        No one but new posters will be taken in by his overblown histrionics ,and flowery prose , however they they soon see the light,and it certainly doesn’t emanate from this particular “black prince” that which i am told he used to post under, back away’s,! certainly tell’s me something about him, which i wouldn’t dare post this place.

    Posted by don davey  on  26/02/08  at  07:51 PM
  260. Keep up the good informative work Ian, don’t let the prince of thieves, bait and side track you, and wash the important focus of the thread away.

    Oh and by the way, devils dug up 2 of my dogs that I buried not far from the house. When we have brought fresh road kill home for the dogs more often than not a devil will be lurking around in the early hours of the morning wanting its share.

    Posted by Charles and Claire Gilmour  on  27/02/08  at  05:41 AM
  261. Thanks Claire, don’t worry I’ve had ‘experts’ try to upset me before. I usually let them go and trip themselves up in the eyes of others.
    Classic example was # 254. All deer hunters that I know carry with them a “stag bag” a zip up body bag to put their venison in, usually hoisted off the ground with a small block and tackle immediately after the gralloch is performed.
    The “fresh meat” baits refered to in #254 are actually hard dried kangaroo meat, the same hard dried kangaroo meat the establishment convinced some of our politicians (in the early days) our native carnivores would not be able to chew and so would not be able to ingest the 1080 poison.
    The footprints at the sheep burial site made it fairly obvious who the main diggers were,however there were footprints of Eastern Quoll as well.
    In future Claire I will try not to pander to the people on this site that exhibit continued signs of attention deficit disorders (ADD)

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  27/02/08  at  07:58 AM
  262. Ian, you’re still missing one of the points of #254, so it looks like the online ADD (or as it is known these days, ADHD, as you might know if you were paying attention, ahem!) is all yours.  Any evidence concerning fresh meat that is not buried is irrelevant - of course devils can quickly find fresh meat that is not buried; they would hardly survive so effectively if they could not.

    I find your claim about “the establishment” arguing that carnivores would be unable to chew through dried kangaroo meat peculiar.  Who were “the establishment” in this case and what were your sources?  I doubt that any scientist would have made it as it is well known that the devil has exceptional jaw strength.

    David A (#257), once again it’s a bit feeble of you to challenge my comprehension when your own is demonstrably woeful (and indeed you doing so provides further evidence to that effect).  My point has been that if you thought thylacines would not necessarily keel over at a whiff of 1080 then you would have said they *might* be susceptible not that they *would* be - based on your use of *would*, all of my inferences have been reasonable. 

    As for spending money chasing thylacines, it’s your money and far be it from me to discourage you from wasting it.  I have some experience in the rediscovery of species and I suggest you aim for something smaller or at least something that has its former core range in a less studied area.  The media fanfare for success may not be so amazing but the chances of it are many many times greater!  I wonder to what extent your view that there is a good chance of the thylacine still being out there is in an informed one.

    Not sure what you mean by “I win either way for reasons that have already come true” but I’m guessing it is something exceedingly off-topic.  Do tell.

    Don’s #259 is more paranoid crackpot babble which repeats said poster’s false accusations that I post under other names and the false accusations about me posting on the orders of (or to impress) “masters”.

    I would be quite safe in offering a *$2000* reward to anyone who could prove either of these ridiculous claims.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  27/02/08  at  11:33 AM
  263. Kevin are you that far gone that you believe you are always right and the rest of the world is always wrong? Honestly do you believe that?
    If you do then all I can say is you must please go and seek help.
    Then again I may be misjudging you, we may have another Einstein.
    In the mean time I intend to ignore you and I suggest other TT readers do like wise. Starve the beast of oxygen,if he doesn’t get the attention he craves he may just go away.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  27/02/08  at  02:49 PM
  264. Kevin,  I’ve been helped by people who know as much as anyone.

    Re: your query, let’s just say I’ve met some of the nicest people anywhere (if you can forgive my non scientific generalization).
    And also, some of the “quirkiest”, and therefore most interesting…

    Posted by David Alford  on  27/02/08  at  03:29 PM
  265. ...and I’ll offer $2000 to anyone who can prove 1080 is environmentally safe!

    Posted by David Alford  on  27/02/08  at  03:42 PM
  266. (262) 
      I would be quite safe in offering a *$2000* reward to anyone who could prove either of these ridiculous claims.
    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham on 27/02/08 at 12:33 PM

    Posted by don davey  on  27/02/08  at  09:35 PM
  267. *sigh* #263 is yet another lame stereotype, that I have refuted dozens of times before, but people who are losing debates still imagine that trotting it out will do them some sort of good.  It won’t.  I believe that I am rarely wrong in public debate - with an error rate that’s less than five percent of that of some opponents - but I do make the odd mistake sometimes.  The differences are that (i) I generally try to avoid mistakes, whereas most of my opponents apparently make no real efforts in this direction (ii) when I make an error I admit to it, whereas my opponents often deny it or try to attack the messenger.  For instance a few weeks back I incorrectly attributed a piece that appeared in the Mercury - in that case I realised my error and submitted a correction before I had even seen the two replies pointing out that I was wrong.

    So obviously I do not believe I am always right, and indeed, if anyone on this site thinks I do believe that, they need help!

    If people don’t start coming up with some more original objections instead of the same old debunked cliched rubbish, I may become so vain as to post (drumroll please) The Dr Bonham TT FAQ, containing the refutation of each of these overdone canards, so I can reply to posts like #263 with one-liners of the form “for the refutation of your ridiculous swill see part 27 of the FAQ (link supplied.)”

    As for ignoring me, the whole site is awash with people giving each other advice on how to do so, and saying they will do so, and yet continuing to respond.  They’re like hopeless tobacco addicts who quit smoking dozens of times a year but each time come back more addicted than before.  Of all those who have said they’d stop responding, I recall only one who has successfully kicked the habit - and he was an elected local government politician!  We’ll see how long Mr Rist’s resolve can last. 

    It’s not *about* attention, although that is an amusing side-aspect of it all.  The “beast”‘s real oxygen here is clueless statements about environmental issues.  If *those* go away (ie the site becomes more environmentally accurate) then I will read its articles with more interest, but respond to challenge things less often. 

    If people continue posting articles and comments which contain obvious scientific (and other) errors, the beast will continue to respond.  It won’t care whether you respond to these responses or not, since either way, it wins.  We’ve been through all of this before!  :)

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  27/02/08  at  09:39 PM
  268. I reckon basically i’m a pretty decent person ! and perhaps a little more than most a stickler for the rules especially when it comes down to govt corruption ! because, if NO ONE took it up to them when they err , apathy is such in the community that eventually it becomes out of control as is the case right now .

        Bonham regards any person who stands up for what is right and proper fair game ! as of this date i have NEVER known him to champion a cause, but always finds things to bitch about with those that do.

        One would think that in regards to the constant flack he recieves that he being ( one assumes )a responsible and or intelligent individual ! (as he is so fond of reminding us) that he would take on board the critisizm and say to himself “christ! i’m copping it from everyone i MUST be doing SOMETHING wrong!  EVERYONE else can,t be out of step surely !”
        But no! he constantly attacks, without any comprehension that all people are not scholarly ! or are just “Fred and Marge Average’s” ! sick of being trodden down and abused by anyone ! but most especially those BASTARDS to whom we give our votes to to ,do the very best job POSSIBLE for those they promise to represent.

        There are times, one wishes for more genteel times “WITH PISTOLS AT DAWN”

    Posted by don davey  on  28/02/08  at  02:53 AM
  269. What part of the word ignore don’t you understand…

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  28/02/08  at  06:55 AM
  270. Ian (#269), was that question directed to Don or to me?  If to me, maybe you should answer it, since in that case you’re the one who still isn’t doing it despite saying you would!

    Don (#266), I was just thinking how to word such offers to make them foolproof, bearing in mind that this site has an unusually high concentration of fools. 

    Here’s the deal then: I will pay a $2000 reward to any person who can prove beyond reasonable doubt that I have posted using a pseudonym to disguise my identity on this site, or to any person who can prove that I have ever been paid to post here or provided with employment incentives for posting here (Linz buying me a few beers now and then for my psephological articles excepted.)

    The conditions of this reward offer are (i) any claimant must first pay me a $50 deposit, which I will retain should they be unable to prove their case (ii) from the time of publication of this post, any person who makes a false and/or unsubstantiated claim to any of the stated effects in any public place (including under alias) loses the right to make a claim for the reward money or any similar future offer, permanently (iii) the offer expires at the end of 2008. 

    David (#265), surely you would have the scientific background to know that *your* offer is meaningless because it is virtually impossible to prove a negative (“safe” essentially meaning “utterly devoid of potential negative impacts”.)  Oh, and I just hope those giving you advice on thylacines were genuine scientists and not dodgy cryptos who think they know something just because they have collected so much “information”. 

    Don, I have stood up for many causes in my life.  Ironically, one of those that brought me into the most conflict with many green activists was the cause of an accurate threatened species list. I have, in my own small way, defended causes including gay rights and drug rights, and criticised the “law and order” lobby.  I am strongly anti-conscription and a vigorous opponent of the presence of religion in state affairs.  If flagburning is outlawed as proposed by the repulsively illiberal Senator Guy Barnett, I will personally burn a flag in protest.  I will light it fifteen seconds before the law takes effect, and it can smoulder as the law comes into being, and Guy and his big-eared moral kook followers can figure out the legals.  This is the only issue I would ever burn a flag over.

    You won’t often see me stand up for causes on TT because TT is seldom an effective place to stand up for anything, and is awash with the kinds of causes I consider misinformed and silly.  However, my defence of science against green nonsense is in itself a cause of sorts.

    When the “everyone else” supposedly whinging about me is just a small circle of brainless and/or demented dingbats on a website highly unrepresentative of public opinion then my intelligence leads me to the conclusion that I am not necessarily doing anything wrong, and indeed am more likely than not on the right path!

    Again, it has nothing to do with education level - it is the malignant clue-aversion displayed by so many posters here, including Don’s abuse towards those who happen to be more educated and hence informed than him, that is the problem.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  28/02/08  at  09:36 AM
  271. #270 “When the “everyone else” supposedly whinging about me is just a small circle of brainless and/or demented dingbats on a website…”

    Why do you bother if your opponents are so obviously not up to the task of debating you?  If they are such easy pickings for you why not find a site where you are amongst equals? 

    Is it just that you take sadistic delight in defeating and denigrating those, who as you often proclaim, are so much weaker than you?

    Isn’t that what bullies do?

    Posted by kate  on  28/02/08  at  01:55 PM
  272. The Tull Chemical Company in Oxford, Alabama, U.S.A. is the sole manufacturer of SODIUM MONOFLUOROACETATE 1080. Who actually brings it into Australia? I am aware that once here it is regulated by the APVMA and then falls under state jurisdiction once it enters that state. Who is the importer into Australia does anyone know?
    I would personally like to see the lovers of 1080 try some in their next salad.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  28/02/08  at  02:42 PM
  273. Kevin, we should agree the “article” you often refer to, doesn’t endanger my $2000. lol

    Regarding the thylacine and scientific experts, etc. I know the literature &  I’ll listen to anyone who has a theory ...but I pay particular attention to the locals and experienced bushmen.

    Posted by David Alford  on  28/02/08  at  04:32 PM
  274. Kevin,  the public has a pretty good BS detector. The proponents of 1080 are not resting on the laurels of Science, by any means.

    Posted by David Alford  on  28/02/08  at  04:48 PM
  275. bonhams rant ! as usual, entirely misses the point and in fact makes little sense.
        i’m still poring over the rules laid down for a claim as at present they appear to this uneducated scribe to be dependant upon no one accusing him of the offence in the future,  ( in his f——-g dreams ! )
        (2) I find the causes he say’s ! he has supported enlightening.

        (3)his opinions of fellow posters as misinformed , brainless and or demented dingbats begs the question, why does he bother as 90% of posters(give or take) disagree with his behaviour.
        (4) i embrace educated individuals, because even at my age one hasn’t stopped learning, the problem is that many ! including bonham ,see those of us with little formal education as menial individuals with nothing of value to offer society,  making him and them fair game in my book.

    Posted by don davey  on  28/02/08  at  04:49 PM
  276. Oh dear, here’s another clueless individual playing the “bully” card (#271).

    Firstly, it’s extremely offensive to compare flamewars where both sides are throwing insults to the nature of genuine bullying - given that real-life bullies often engage in physical violence against individuals who actually want no part whatsoever of any level of conflict with them.  kate, I hope you will apologise to all who have been bullied in this manner for your melodramatic and trite comparison - shame on you for trivialising the very serious bullying problem still far from eradicated from our schools.  I hope you’re not a parent. 

    Secondly, bullies find people to pick on and harass whether they have done anything to “provoke” it or not (often even being “different” in some way is more than adequate), whereas when I’m involved in flamewars on this site it is virtually always because the other side has indicated they are up for it and decided to get personally abusive (like David Alford with his accusations of insincerity) instead of just debating (or ignoring) whatever point I was raising.  Some people insist on picking fights with those who fight better than they do.  To call the latter “bullies” should they take any course other than ignoring such provocations is ridiculous.  The former are, ironically, closer to “bullying” than me in both intent and behaviour, if not in gravity (the professional defo attempted by some notwithstanding.)

    I bother for a number of reasons.  One of them is because I can.  TT has an open editorial policy.  So if I don’t want it to be used solely as a place for silly greens to swap misinformation and myopia and backpat each others’ uneducated nonsense, then I can stop it from being like that simply by challenging their positions. 

    If people want a politically slanted forum where they are not disturbed by contrary views, they should start their own, and make it expressly clear that that is what it is.  Green-leaning types may think TT is theirs because so many of them post here, but in terms of editorial policy, it very clearly isn’t.  It is anyone’s, and under the current editorial policies I have as much right to post my view of these issues here as anyone does, and anyone who thinks personal abuse is an acceptable response to a difference of opinion here should expect to be called on that.  I am not solely here to attract and win flamewars - I also happen to have a strong belief that the level of clue aversion so frequently seen on this site, on so many subjects, should not go unmolested by the facts! 

    There probably is a level of sadism involved, and I never claimed to be Dr Nice Guy, but such sadism is only towards wannabe sadists who have failed to be as sadistic as they thought they were, and found that their target isn’t forgiving.  They therefore don’t have anything to complain about - and any time they want out, all they need to do is admit that they were out of line in the first place. 

    There simply is no site I am aware of for debating mostly Tasmanian issues where I could just be among “equals”.  If you are aware of one, let me know.  There are only so many people in the state who are interested in online debate at all, and who are not discouraged from engaging in it by workplace related restrictions such as the State Services Act.

    Again, I have said most of this before, and having people bring up the same trite objections even though I have demolished them several times is not saving anybody’s time!

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  28/02/08  at  05:56 PM
  277. David (274), my point is that the *opponents* of 1080 in the fox-baiting case do not have science in their corner, at least not yet.  Indeed, their case is quite scientifically weak.  Of course no article is going to prove 1080 safe, because, once again, it’s very difficult to prove a negative.  All one can do is report that a range of work has been done and so far none of it supports the hypothesis that there is a serious problem here.

    As for the thylacine, many Tassie locals know a lot about all sorts of things, but that doesn’t mean that they’re immune to telling the odd tall story.  I would very much *like* it if someone found the thylacine still alive but I do not rate their chances.

    Don, re (1) you have misunderstood my proposed conditions.  The condition is that anyone who falsely accuses me of the alleged offence loses the ability to claim the reward themselves.  That does not affect the eligibility of anybody else, though it is tempting to make that the rule if it helps in shutting up your stupid fiction on this matter.

    re (3) see my just-submitted reply to Kate (assuming it appears) which answers the same question, but in words far too big for your feeble understanding.

    (4)is just not true, at all (and is another junk cliche I have disposed of a few times before).  I know some excellent scientists who have had no formal training at all, and some very qualified people who are basically dills.

    Also, Don, yet again, your true anti-intellectual colours were plain for all to see on the thread called “breathtaking hypocrisy” where you, completely without provocation, described all posters in a not-too-bad debate to that point as “a bunch of would be academics trying to outdo one another with their command of the english language”.  You’ve never apologised for that garbage (which also by implication insulted plenty of posters on your “side”, some of them real academics!) and until you do so, your claim to respect learning cannot be taken seriously.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  28/02/08  at  09:43 PM
  278. Kevin, you can admit to sadism, but not insincerity. Makes perfect sense.

    Posted by David Alford  on  29/02/08  at  03:47 AM
  279. (277)
        bonham relates to an episode over 12 months ago when he reined supreme and everyone hung off his every word believing his novel length diatribe to have substance.
        My several initial ! perhaps clumsy attempts to gain an audience or even simple acknowledgement was met with “ignore” to use one of bonhams terms and those who wish to visit said post may understand my frustration in trying to get involved with the Pulp mill issue and getting nowhere ! hence that particular statement.
        Apart from bonham NOT ONE individual has broached the subject with me except him , and in retrospect apart from “his nibs” if any current posters apart from the “usual suspects” took issue with my remarks take heart in the fact they were not intended for them, in fact most of them seem to have dissapeared, most likely due to his abuse.

        If had the smarts (he is so used to reminding everyone of ) he would know that “verbal bullying” is regarded by experts , (in many instances) to be of more harm than that of the physical kind.
        There are many alternative sites where individuals of his particular favour do battle ! play mind games , and participate in his childish “Flame Wars”  such as one particular chess site ! however he is out of his depth those places, finding the enemy far too smart for him, hence his terrorisation of this place.

        Apart from Tomas ,who at least understands common courtesy i can think of not one poster who he has not abused at some time or another, many of whom now ! simply ignore him, i’m just not made of the same stuff as i hate bullies with a passion, most especially those of the psuedo intellectual variety ! in fact! i revel in taking them down.


    Posted by don davey  on  29/02/08  at  05:20 AM
  280. Sad case. I was tempted to reach for the mortein… but I think therapy is in order.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  29/02/08  at  08:20 AM
  281. agree with # 279 and 280
    but the issues to do with ‘unintended poisoning’ are not going away.
    Have just had a read of Greens media release on water contamination results.

    Posted by sanguine  on  29/02/08  at  09:30 AM
  282. #278
    Yes but he’s a SINCERE sadist David.  Don’t you get it?

    Posted by kate  on  29/02/08  at  02:02 PM
  283. #276
    See you can’t help yourself can you?  Just because I dare to question whether your behaviour comes under the definition of bullying, that makes me a “clueless individual”.

    As Don points out bullying has a number of manifestations and verbal bullying is one of them. 

    Name calling, personal put-downs, insults about people’s intelligence or knowledge, all can be classified as verbal bullying.

    BTW what has my parental status to do with any of your comments about bullying?  Because my definition of bullying is apparently somewhat broader than yours, that somehow implies that I condone violence and bullying in schools???  And if I am a parent then my children are somehow compromised or disadvantaged by my opinion that verbal abuse is a form of bullying???

    Posted by kate  on  29/02/08  at  02:27 PM
  284. Some individuals actually REALLY enjoy being “agent provocateurs”; as the French say, it gives a “raison d’etre” to their lives.

    For such individuals to personally decide to stop that “reason for being” can mean they lose control of a well-learnt, ego-protective pattern of behaviour. That’s far too tough on them because just maybe they don’t know any other way to behave or socialise.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  29/02/08  at  09:57 PM
  285. #282

    Posted by David Alford  on  01/03/08  at  02:35 PM
  286. Ian (280), you’re not very good at this “ignoring” thing, are you.

    Don (279), perhaps you should have kept your pulp mill related blatherings to one of the zillions of threads devoted to them, instead of one that was supposed to be about Gunns’ winning of an environmental award.

    No one else has broached the subject with you?  Well of course not; if they were otherwise generally on your side why would they bother?  And as for me supposedly scaring posters off, the only one with an actual name who hasn’t posted since round then is Barry Brannan ... who you seem to think is me anyway.  Furthermore, far from everybody hanging on my every word back then, TT was much the same as it is now, except for your ridiculous babble.

    kate (#283), yes it does make you a “clueless individual”, because if you had been clued-in enough to follow these debates intelligently, you would know that even the *suggestion* of a comparison to bullying is cliched, ignorant and melodramatic (not to mention abusive!).  And don’t play “But I only did this ...” with me; you were just as clueless and inane on “Goodbye To All That”, “Argumentative Drivel”,  “Defending Tasmania’s Ancient Forest 2” and doubtless many others; you have plenty of past form that supports my response. 

    What your status as a parent or otherwise has to do with it is that you seem to be unable to recognise the difference between bullying and response to provocation, which suggests to me that you do not take real bullying seriously or understand how often it does not take two to start it.  Furthermore, you trivialise unprovoked physical bullying by comparing it to responses to provocation, and flamewars which both sides are up for, both of which you confuse with “verbal bullying”.  On the basis of your comments, a bullied child who had you as a parent would have a difficult time of it - you would think they were no better than a little Don Davey (and hence suspect deep down that they were being a jerk and thus deserved it). 

    I put it to you that, extremely clueless as you are, you actually at least half-know that what I do is not really “bullying” at all, and hence your (gutlessly) asserted-by-asking suggestion that I am a bully is itself a version of what you seek to portray as “verbal bullying”.  It is certainly an exercise in “name-calling” and “personal put-downs”.  There has also been plenty of stuff in that line from David Alford, Ian Rist, “Gerry Mander” and even David Obendorf on this thread, but kate, being exceedingly biased, is only complaining about me.  I conclude that kate herself engages in and aspires to a form of conduct that she considers to be “verbal bullying”.  In short, she is a wannabe bully.

    As for insults to intelligence, I hardly need to bother when I have Don Davey suggesting that my flamewar opponents here are stupider (oh yes Don, that word again!) than those I encounter on chess sites. Given the cluelessness of some of *those*, that’s really saying something!  Don - if I found the game on chess sites too tough then why am I posting there at the same rate as ever and why do I have almost ten times as many posts there as here?  Try sticking to things you have a clue about ... oh, I forgot, there aren’t any.

    Dr Obendorf (#284), this is not the first time we’ve seen your eccentric and quaint little dabblings in psychobabble, a field in which you appear to be utterly unqualified and unable to even provide effective evidence.  How about you stick to your areas of somewhere-near-expertise and answer my questions up the page?  If they’re all a bit too fresh and burning I’m sure I can find some older stuff you can apologise for instead. :)

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  01/03/08  at  02:41 PM
  287. #286 You seem to fall back on the old “I was provoked” and “he started it” defences a lot Dr Kev.  Yes, yes you’ve alphabetically and thematically indexed all the previous occurrences of said provocation.  You don’t need to trot them out again. 

    Strange that you’ll admit to sadism but take such offence at the suggestion of bullying.

    Posted by kate  on  02/03/08  at  08:10 PM
  288. David A (#285), adding an unsubstantiated silly me-too to weakly argued peanut-gallery comments of a sort you can reliably expect me to demolish doesn’t contribute anything to the thread except for a demonstration of your bias and your unrealistic expectations of the prospects of your dismally inadequate team.

    I have no great liking for “games” with so little skill component, but I believe that in bingo you generally need five numbers in a row and not two, and also that in bingo the balls are drawn randomly.  This differs from TT, where certain silly people keep calling out the same discredited anti-Bonham numbers repeatedly in the hope that several of the players will be stupid enough to keep circling them.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  02/03/08  at  08:18 PM
  289. I put it to you that, extremely clueless as you are, you actually at least half-know that what I do is not really “bullying” at all, and hence your (gutlessly) asserted-by-asking suggestion that I am a bully is itself a version of what you seek to portray as “verbal bullying”.

    Kevin Byron.

    Posted by Ron  on  02/03/08  at  08:45 PM
  290. Well!  dunno about the rest of you , but it’s patently obvious that bonham is like the Japs in the second world war ! they just wouldn’t quit when even faced with overwhelming odds either ! which wasn’t that smart! as uncle Sam had to drop the big one, however at present i just don,t have one ! so i will put my efforts into something more pressing (the mill ) and take my leave of this thread , in the knowledge that he won’t leave it at that !
      Another one trashed on to the next, his master,s will be pleased. 

    Posted by don davey  on  03/03/08  at  12:30 AM
  291. Checkmate, Kevin. You destroyed your own position by making people not care.

    Posted by David Alford  on  03/03/08  at  02:09 AM
  292. Ho Hum, boring,boring. Can we get back to what this thread is really about?
    As I said earlier… six years on and not one poisoned fox recovered,not one shot fox, not one fox trapped or even one Tasmanian fox photographed. How does the establishment explain this?
    What happened to the whiz bang “sentinel” traps we heard about years ago?
    Please will the Minister and his bureaucrats admit they stuffed up,move on and stop poisoning every thing else but foxes.
    Do we have to produce some 1080 poisoned Devils and Quolls to convince you marooned Macquarie st. idiots that ALL IS NOT WELL.
    The chook photos would be only pre-school stuff!

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  03/03/08  at  10:21 AM
  293. Ian, can you elaborate on the the “sentinel” traps, please. Also, do you know how long the current 1080 poisoning of Tasmania may be expected to continue?

    Posted by David Alford  on  03/03/08  at  03:47 PM
  294. Love the latest self promotional,four page,glossy full colour and predictably inaccurate waste of taxpayers money fox evidence brochure.
    They can’t even get the dates right.
    The authorship of this “evidence” brochure seems to just have the fingerprints of the same old few all over it.  i.e. blood, scats, first-on-site, removal of endemic species etc.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  03/03/08  at  03:50 PM
  295. David Alford “sentinel” traps are a large walk in type trap made of galvanised pipe,steel mesh and have a ‘walk in one way system’ Foxes are supposed to go in after a dead lamb,offal,carcass or what ever and can’t get out. I will scan and send you image of same. Meanwhile… internet,type in DPIW fox sentinel traps. Cheers. I wonder if they make one for annoying little insects and snails?

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  03/03/08  at  04:09 PM
  296. kate (#287), all I said about sadism was “There probably is a level of sadism involved, and I never claimed to be Dr Nice Guy, but such sadism is only towards wannabe sadists who have failed to be as sadistic as they thought they were, and found that their target isn’t forgiving.”  It is quite different to any desire to cause harm to the innocent.  Whether such an approach even qualifies as genuine “sadism” I neither know nor care, but when you say it’s strange I’ll admit to some things but allegedly take offence at others, there is nothing strange about it at all.  The things I won’t “admit” to are the ones that clearly are not true.  As for taking offence, I pointed out that your behaviour was offensive but this is not necessarily the same as me being (or not being) personally offended by it. 

    I point out that others start these conflicts because I am so frequently falsely blamed for starting those actually very clearly started and provoked by others.  There are so many posters who want to try to flame me for being such a nasty pastie, but who will not admit that, on the terms they seek to criticise me on, their own side is actually worse.  I am therefore making a point about the bias, hypocrisy and intellectual laziness of those attempting to condemn the way I post here.  They need to get their own side’s house in order first, but they are far too gutless to do it.

    David A (#291), I don’t care whether people care, so that’s another game that you don’t understand.  What I care about is refuting nonsense and taking to account those who persist in making clueless public comments.

    Ian (#292), the way that the last 100 or so posts have gone so far off topic is, to a substantial degree, your fault for making unjustified personal attacks.  If you apologise for them then you will certainly make it less likely that I will respond to your posts in a way likely to result in more off-topic exchanges. 

    You clearly don’t learn, however, because you continue this ridiculous personal behaviour with an insulting reference to the street on which I have the good fortune to live.  Carcasses are not necessary at all - I would be happy with even a convincing theoretical argument as to how 1080 meat baits could cause significant mortality among spotted-tailed quolls (eastern quolls being not threatened, and devils being precautionarily considered threatened, but not threatened by 1080).  However you are nowhere near that level of evidence.  The evidence, such as it is, is in studies like those referred to in the Mooney article, and all you have had to offer contrary to that is irrelevant anecdotes.  It’s not convincing in the slightest.

    Probably you would make your case more effectively if you stuck to criticising the evidence for the fox, instead of feeling that you have to attack the fox programme by pointing to harm that you allege is caused by its activities.  After all, if you can debunk all the claimed evidence for the presence of foxes then the pointlessness of baiting for it is a logical corollary of that.  If you cannot debunk the claimed evidence then your chances of proving that the baiting does enough harm to warrant a cessation (even though there may be foxes in the state) are slim.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  03/03/08  at  04:14 PM
  297. David Alford to answer part two of your question: they are going to bait for the next TEN YEARS if they can get the funding or everyone wakes up first. Ten years indeed… if we are still talking about poisoning foxes in 3 or 4 years time then all I can say is it’s all over red rover,they are here and established. However they have been trying to poison just ONE FOX for the past six years unsuccessfully.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  03/03/08  at  04:20 PM
  298. Ian re our conversation regarding the piece i put the Examiner.

        A Michael James of Legana has refuted the story in todays ex. with the claim of a recently found warm carcase found at conara.

        It seems you were right in your prediction, and David ! have you been aproached for the reward?


    Posted by don davey  on  04/03/08  at  08:01 AM
  299. I am sure when the time comes the evidence will impress much more important people than Bonham.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  04/03/08  at  08:27 AM
  300. Don #298 he is refering to the 56 million dollar fox found on Glen Esk Road Conara 1st August 2006… the reheated one.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  04/03/08  at  09:00 AM
  301. I have had numerous people contact me about having had a problem getting the U.S Govt.service contaminant hazard report fom this http site;
      use this please

    USGS pop up gives the Search Patuxent inquiry box,simply type in 1080 eisler in the box and you will get the US Govt. Biological report number 27,Contaminant Hazard review number 30.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  04/03/08  at  11:05 AM
  302. Ian (#295, #299), for one who claimed to want this to all get back on topic you don’t seem too keen to stop the personal insults.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  04/03/08  at  11:06 AM
  303. Thanks Ian, what a waste. Too bad 1080 happens to be made in the USA.

    Posted by David Alford  on  04/03/08  at  09:53 PM
  304. The glossy fox evidence brochure refered to in #294 would have to be the best propaganda sheet I have seen in years. Not one piece of that “evidence” stream - used to procure up to $56 million of taxpayers’ money - would stand up to a thorough investigation by, for example, an Independant Crime and Corruption Commission or a properly constituted Royal Commission.  After all, a lot of it is Federal money!
    On April 17th 2007(REFER Legislative Council Hansard) the member for Windermere Ivan Dean MLC addressed the Legislative Council for several hours on the “fox evidence”, especially the 2 month old Lillico squashed cub find, blood found in a chook shed at Old Beach five days after a chook kill, and the ‘real deal’ fox found on the roadside at Conara; Mr Dean claimed these three pieces of evidence were “spurious to say the least” - refer to common news story,22884,21582109-921,00.html
    That same day Mr Dean put it to the vote in the upper house for an investigation into the evidence; the vote came out at 9 in favour, 4 against(no need to guess who the four were)however this was squashed in the lower house - WHY??
    I will tell you why; the Police Minister and DPIW minister knows there is a lot of dirty laundry in there and wants to keep the lid on it.
    Why has this Government ignored painfully obvious flaws in the evidence stream and supported the ongoing funding of this farce?
    There can be only two answers to that question - either they are extraordinarily naive or they are complicit.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  05/03/08  at  04:40 PM
  305. 302, 
          Ian, ignore it !

    Posted by don davey  on  05/03/08  at  05:23 PM
  306. From the Mercury (,22884,23327931-3462,00.html):

    ***The fox taskforce, recently renamed the Fox Eradication Branch, now has more than 40 full-time staff dedicated to wiping out foxes in Tasmania.

    State Government funding of more than $3.1 million annually over the next four years commenced in July, with the Federal Government contributing another $2.5 million for 2007-08.

    Over the next 10 years, the branch will receive $60 million.

    However, despite numerous sightings of foxes, no live foxes or fox cubs have ever been captured in Tasmania.***

    Posted by David Alford  on  06/03/08  at  04:16 PM
  307. During the investigation into the Task Free Fox Force and the DPIW the Minister should also insist on getting to the bottom of who within these departments is responsible for the never ending claims of cub importation and release.
    This story has been flogged to death for years, it may now even be time to apologise to the people named as they have never had a chance to defend themselves.
    A Tasmania Police investigation found NO evidence of fox importation and release, only the people named actually do exist.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  13/03/08  at  07:29 AM
  308. A reliable source within the Fox Eradication Program is suggesting that the joint State-Commonwealth DPIW program is about to make a ‘big announcement’.

    In all likelihood with much fanfare and media coverage. Is it about ongoing funding secured under new Rudd Labor?

    Other options may be a full forensic validation on some authentic photographs of a wild Tasmanian fox from a remote camera deployed at a fox hotspot area or maybe test results from the “Great Poo Chase” with more DNA positive fox faeces.

    It would be highly suspicious if it was another fresh road-killed fox incident because, by their very nature, they’re unpredictable and can’t easily be anticipated in advance.

    Are there any other possibilities?

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  18/03/08  at  11:13 PM
  309. David couple of possibles. (1) It is getting near budget time. (2) A FULL BLOWN INVESTIGATION INTO THE MESS?
    How much longer can the pollies justify throwing taxpayers money at this farce?
    But then again it is only taxpayers money.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  19/03/08  at  08:24 AM
  310. Amazing the difference in reporting of the Devil toxicolgy findings in The Australian newspaper and the way it has been presented to the local media.
    Do you honestly think there will be an open and transparent evaluation of the toxic chemical 1080 debate locally?  No… too much at stake here.
    The powers that be and their puppets KNOW they have stuffed up bigtime with this 1080 foxbaiting campaign… but do think they are ever going to admit it?  Pigs will fly if they flap their ears hard enough.
    Time will tell.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  20/03/08  at  08:58 AM
  311. (310) 

        This must hold the record for the longest thread Ian,  and just for the record , have you noticed that after the Examiner,“at last” starting to print anti mill and anti fox eradication letters, that the Editor has announced that he is stepping down ?  things ARE getting nasty ! too much of a coincidence is my belief , in fact one is forced to ponder if Gay holds a seat on the board.

        Also in todays examiner another so called expert claiming that the devil tumours are caused by them biting one another !  what stupid revelation! they’ve been biting each other for millions of years and they’ve survived just fine ! until human’s and their bloody poisons interfered.


    Posted by don davey  on  20/03/08  at  09:56 PM
  312. Re.# 308 and #309 David I’m probably right with #(1) It is the final countdown to budget time… I am betting we will see very, very shortly some more “hard evidence” either some convincing scats, tested compliments of Institute of Applied Ecology, Canberra(CRC Invasive animals)chief (analysts)  for most of the fox funds.
    Another carcass roadside,although I doubt it because they know the eyes and the ears of the bush are out and about.
    A convincing photo from one of the many remote cameras put at bait sites and “hotspots”
      I will bet the serious 56 million dollar money on number one, easily transportable or easily contaminated scats.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  21/03/08  at  08:51 PM
  313. #310, Ian could you please summarize the difference in media reports; I and others may not be aware of this.

    #308, David maybe it’s a pic of a thylacine munching on a 1080 poison bait…good or bad news?

    More seriously, even if it’s a fox pic it should not be used to justify broadcasting 1080 baits across Tassie. It’s almost as if the police decides to start shooting at the general populace because they are convinced a serial killer is on the loose and one of their shots might fell the supposed criminal.

    Posted by David Alford  on  23/03/08  at  03:39 PM
  314. Hullo David Alford re # 310 go to Tasmanian ABC news (electronic) on the 19th March 2008; “Chemicals not responsible for Devil Facial Tumour Disease” and then on the 20th March 2008; “Chemicals not responsible for Devil Facial Tumour Disease:researchers” In this article it was even suggested “valuable resources” should not be wasted on toxin research.
    Local television ran with the same theme.
    Then compare the previously mentioned reports with the 20th March article written by one of the top Australian investigative jounalist’s Matthew Denholm of The Australian newspaper.
    The rest is self explanatory.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  23/03/08  at  06:43 PM
  315. #313, Ian no worries, found the report.

    Posted by David Alford  on  23/03/08  at  07:05 PM
  316. Let me see.  Foxes in Tasmania, what can we do?

    1. Employ a dedicated, educated, focused group to tackle the fox problem in the field.  To maintain a strong force against foxes with spotlighting, baiting, responding to fox sightings and perhaps more importantly, educate others on the issue to prevent the introduction from reoccurring and encourage action on fox sightings.  Set up a fox hotline so the entire state can be helping the team to target their efforts to find and/or eradicate the few foxes we are unfortunate enough to have in Tasmania.

    2. Offer a $1000 bounty to anyone out there who produces a fox carcass. What better encouragement do people need to smuggle foxes back over here and shoot them on site (and hope against hell they don’t escape again)?  Nice idea, completely wrong timing.  Bounties may be effective when animal population densities are at a high level but as an offer for an animal at extrodinarily low densities it can only be the worst encouragement.

    It’s time for Tasmanians to help using their eyes, their phone calls and their support for a team doing their damndest to save Tasmanian agriculture and wildlife.

    Posted by Keep it real  on  27/03/08  at  10:38 PM
  317. Keep it real I could be just a little convinced if you could produce just one fox.
    By the way psuedonyms just don’t work in this modern computer era.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  28/03/08  at  08:09 AM
  318. (316)
          quite obviously , a recipient of OUR tax dollars which would better spent on this states medical crisis !  which is why (i suspect) he or she chooses to remain anonomous.

    Posted by don davey  on  28/03/08  at  01:52 PM
  319. #316 You are correct d.d. another one protecting a life style they have become accustomed to.
    Which brings me to something that came to my attention last weekend during the Discovery Ranger activities.
    This garbage is currently being taught to our children.
    Refer to the Tasmanian N.P.W.S. homepage, click on Education bottom right hand side then go to section Hisory of foxes in Tasmania, hard evidence.
    This would have to be the most garbled piece of diatribe I have witnessed in this whole, sorry saga. Lesson plan # 8
    I refer to the paragraph, page one “ongoing investigations make it clear environmental vandals have released up to twenty fox cubs into Tasmania”.
    Then Student notes:
    ‘The deliberate and illegal introduction of foxes into Tasmania is probably the SINGLE-BIGGEST ACT OF ENVIRONMENTAL VANDALISM in Australia and possibly the world. The perpetrators are part of an ongoing criminal investigation’.
    What absolute lies. Tasmania Police signed off in July 2001 on these allegations after NO evidence was found to corroborate these fox cub allegations.
    There are recorded questions asked about this alleged introduction of fox cubs in The Tasmanian Legislative Council Hansard, answered I might add with mistruths.
      If MINISTER Bartlett and MINISTER Wriedt are not aware of this garbage being taught to our children, they should be made aware and have it removed… if they are aware of it and condone it they both should be sacked.
    And the fox people wonder why they have a credibility problem… they have no one to blame but themselves.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  29/03/08  at  02:40 AM
  320. Isn’t Mrs Napier the Shadow Minister for education and the Environment?

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  29/03/08  at  09:53 AM
  321. Dear Mr Davey

    Thank you for your E-mail of 27 February in relation to air pollution in the Launceston area and the Tasmanian Devil.  I apologise for the delay in responding to you.

    It is clear from reports into this issue that wood-heaters and wood fires are the biggest contributor to air pollution in the Launceston area.

    The Launceston City Council estimates up to another 8000 wood heaters in the city could be removed following a successful buy-back scheme some years ago.

    I am concerned that at a time when the Government should be encouraging Launceston residents to switch to cleaner forms of heating, a 15% power price rise is counter-productive. I have called on the Government to tackle air pollution in Launceston as a matter of priority irrespective of whether the pulp mill goes ahead.

    On the matter of the Tasmanian Devil, I recently had a briefing on the activities of the Fox Task Force and in regard to the usage of 1080, can inform you that –

    •  baiting will be conducted in hotspots only based on hard evidence, clusters of sighting reports, likely habitat;
    •  landowners are contacted and agreements to bait with 1080 on the property are signed;
    •  each bait is marked and recorded on a GPS;
    •  baits are spaced between 200 and 250 metres apart;
    •  baits are retrieved after 28 days;
    •  in 2007-08, 245,861 hectares were baited, 21,454 baits laid and 13% bait taken;
    •  lethal baiting was introduced after investigation of the WA program initiated in 1996 which resulted in a 95% reduction in the fox population;
    •  baits are sufficiently buried for foxes to access to protect other wildlife and pets.

    Yours sincerely

    Will Hodgman MP
    Leader of the Opposition mail to Don Davey

        What’s your take on this Ian ?


    Posted by don davey  on  29/03/08  at  05:35 PM
  322. If one wants the true version of events concerning the alleged fox cub imports and release into Tasmania go to the Tasmanian Parliament Legislative Council Hansard of the 26th September 2002. The Tasmania Police true version of events is covered in extensive detail. Also the ABC Catalyst version of the fox import theory is exposed for what it is.
    Still in 2008 our children are still being lied to and our politicians either don’t care or don’t want to know.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  30/03/08  at  04:42 AM
  323. Truly Don Mr Hodgman has been misled,as have a lot of other politicians. I have personally spoken to some Taskforce members who have told me they just are instructed to lay so many baits as if they have to reach a benchmark. Clearly no rhyme or reason to it.
    Politicians have been clearly misled on many occasions, I have a letter from the leader of the Tasmanian Greens who assured me they had been convinced the 1080 baiting would do no harm to our native carnivores because the Task Force had convinced them that the DEVILS and QUOLLS could not chew the hard,dried kangaroo meat baits!!??
    Clusters of sightings?? This is bull shit Don and everybody knows it is.
    What is sad though is WHAT is taking the baits??

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  30/03/08  at  03:01 PM
  324. (322) 

        Ian ! the following sent today to Will Hodgman,s web site and perhaps a few more irate letters ,along with your own is what is required , after all, 322 responses does require attention by our pollies.


      Will !  the following has been posted on Tasmanian Times after i posted your comments ,  do you have any comment regarding Mr Rists claims , or perhaps i can invite you to respond On T.T personally.

    Posted by don davey  on  30/03/08  at  04:15 PM
  325. Thanks to all the good people that have contacted me thru’ Tassie Times with info on this fox farce. I appreciate your efforts,there is a day not far away when we can all put it together.
          Ian Rist

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  30/03/08  at  08:41 PM
  326. Don also re #321 May I suggest you personally write to Mr Hodgman and ask him what animals he believes are taking the thousands of “fox baits”??
    I suggest you also advise him to consult the Legislative Council Hansard of the 30th October 2007 where Mr Dean asked the question what animals are being photographed at 1080 fox bait sites…no foxes,but plenty of Devils and Quolls etc. Will is a reasonable man, I sure he will question what actually is taking the baits.
    Well done Ivan Dean,you seem to be the only politician with the balls and the brains to see thru’ this farce.
    Another thought,how many 1080 poisoned Devils presented to the international media would it take to convince the hierachy of the DPIW that they got it wrong again?
    And before you come looking in my fridge again Mr Schaap,don’t bother. Remember what you found last time.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  31/03/08  at  03:21 AM
  327. Well,well, amazing. The very day the Legislative Council Public Accounts Committee announces an inquiry into the fox farce we have six (fox) scats appear.
    That almost tops the Conara fox appearing roadside the very day two branches of the Fox task Force were closing down.
    The usual cries of more funding from the usual participants….please,please.
    Bring it on I say.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  05/04/08  at  08:18 PM
  328. 327 ! 
          Well called Ian !~  however it came as no surprise after our conversation,  i sent a little note to the EX.  lets,  see if it gets a run !


    Posted by don davey  on  07/04/08  at  12:47 AM
  329. One thing is for sure,out of this Public Accounts Committee inquiry into the fox… it will reveal who said what,when,and who lied about what, and when.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  10/04/08  at  08:55 PM
  330. More scats… it must be nearly budget time.
    The fiscal fox is crapping again. This elitist group of people are protecting their life style and their toys while people are suffering on hospital and dental waiting lists.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  02/05/08  at  04:16 PM
  331. I am reliably informed the new Tasmanian fox scat detection dogs cannot find fox scats unless the scat is inside a plastic film capsule.
    On a recent trip to the mainland the dogs not only ignored a dead fox, they also ignored mainland fox scats. Once the scats were placed in a film capsule(how they were trained)they suddenly showed remarkable interest. Problem was they also showed great interest in the film capsules minus the scats.
    How then are they detecting Tasmanian fox scats?
    I am informed the dogs may be renamed… Kodak,Agfa and Fuji.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  23/05/08  at  03:42 PM
  332. So Ian, are you suggesting that Tasmania’s FEP trained fox-scent dogs cannot locate fox scats in nature?

    What is the training purpose of the film capsules? Are the capsules perforated to allow the scent to be detected by these dogs and yet not contaminate a local site?

    Presumably fox scats are being brought in from the mainland to do re-enforcement training of these dogs using this fox-scat-film capsule method.

    Any ideas Ian?

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  23/05/08  at  11:01 PM
  333. David ask one of the senior people at the Fox Eradication Branch…it’s apparantly common knowledge in the department. My information came from a very senior manager in a Government department.
    The previous fox dogs,Speck and Jock didn’t find any foxes either,Tasmanian foxes must be a unique breed. (Cost of their training $36,000.00)
    Twelve months ago they hired a person as hunter co-ordinator. This person was to organise hunters with dogs to decend on fox sighting areas, flush out the fox and shoot it. As we have had over sixty “good” sightings in that time how come we still have not got one fox?
    In exactly one week (the 31st of May) this farce has been going on for ten years (31st May 1998 the Burnie container boat escape) How much longer can politicians justify throwing taxpayers’ money at this?
    As I said in the National television interview this week, stop the mass 1080 baiting and concentrate on feral cats as well and I will get off their back.
    Ian Rist

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  24/05/08  at  08:50 AM
  334. The third thing as well as 1080 and feral cats would be to correct the lies being taught to our children in the Outwit,Outplay,Outfox section on the NPWS education section of their website,also in the ELS and material available from the state library.
    David Bartlett,Michelle O’Byrne and Sue Napier seem uninterested in correcting serious errors in this learning program.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  24/05/08  at  05:06 PM
  335. No challeges on comment # 331 ?  The fact that the scat detection dogs are not capable of detecting fox scats unless the scats are in plastic film capsules.
    After the Radio National street stories (25th May 2008) I thought the scat dogs were perfect.
    Please chaps put up some sort of argument, don’t be a complete bunch of pusseys. Just click on my email address at the bottom of this comment.
    On the subject of street stories, I loved the comment of one long serving Fox Eradication Program member… “we are not in it for the money,we are being paid less per hour than people filling the shelves at super markets”. What a joke, the people filling the super market shelves don’t have brand new four wheel drives,quad bikes,GPS’S,the best ‘scopes and rifles money can buy or a fuel card or expense account or access to unlimited (it seems) taxpayers’ funds.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  29/05/08  at  09:20 PM
  336. Ian, I sugest that the Fox Eradication Program now has a policy of disengagement with anyone that questions their operational actvities and logic. The one option you have is to engage in the Parliamentary Public Accounts Inquiry into “the efficiency and effectiveness of fox eradication programs in Tasmania”.

    To invite a meaningful dialogue with people in power (i.e. the public authorities) with substantial monetary resources and the need to maintain it, is always a fraught process - as I found when I presented the forensic evidence on the Glen Esk Road incident(Aug 2006)- the ‘still warm, floppy’ and ‘freshly killed’ fox.

    Incidentally on the recent ABC-Street Stories expose on Tasmanian foxes I was surprised to hear Peter Darke casually suggest that the decomposed ‘Symmons Plains fox’ was shot somewhere else. I’ve now received two versions of how this fox ended up where it did and both cast doubt on the original investigation and the reliability of forensic findings from this 2001 incident.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  31/05/08  at  08:49 AM
  337. David I agree,they won’t engage. I have publicly offered to debate this fox issue with any one,any where at any time.
    Ever since the Public Accounts committee hearing was announced I have been preparing a submission.
    I will make sure the truth comes out.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  31/05/08  at  10:11 AM
  338. David I agree also with your comment on ‘the Symmons Plains decomposed fox’ It is a long way between Bothwell, Tas. and Symmons Plains, Tas. It is even further from Geelong, Vic.
    Maybe this is why the FEB Hunter Co-ordinator is having so much trouble “co-ordinating all the hunters to get one single fox kill.
    I understand part of his job is to co-ordinate hunters to converge on a fox sighting and drive out the fox and shoot it. Over sixty high quality sightings this year alone and still no fox. A pity there is not a bit more co-ordinating and a bit less yaffling.
    A sceptic am I… don’t think so a Politician I was talking to just the other day said he agreed with my factual comments!

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  01/06/08  at  09:52 AM
  339. Well fox budget time again…how much for the biggest farce in Tasmanian History this time?
    The Greens are convinced foxes have established,God knows on what evidence base?
    Some of the Liberals are convinced and others are not.
    All the Labor people are convinced (well publicly that is) that the fox is the greatest threat to Tasmania in it’s History. They are also aware of how big an earner the fox has been.
    As I said in 2004 “a giant roller coaster they don’t know how to get off even if they wanted to”
    When all this is washed up one day they will say “well we eradicated all the foxes,didn’t get a single carcass of our own,but we got them all anyway”
    This won’t be until all those on the gravy train have bled it for all they can.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  10/06/08  at  07:06 PM
  340. A big day on June 30. Don’t we lose the $1000 reward offer, and doesn’t Gunns lose its wood supply agreement if work hasn’t started?  What is more likely - that a fox will be found by the end of the month or that construction will start on the mill?

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  10/06/08  at  10:53 PM
  341. A FOX! I saw a fox!

    Help. Oh Heavens. We are all doomed.
    Nothing will survive. Worse than feral cats. Worse than road kill. Worse than 1080. Worse than habitat destruction.
    What are we going to do?
    Simple my dear Watson—throw money at it.
    Will that remove the danger?
    Oh no, but it will make a lot of people very happy.
    But what about our wildlife? Surely all our animals will be wiped out?
    You mean like they have been in all the other states where there are foxes?
    Help. Oh Heavens. We are all doomed!
    Here, have a million. It will help ease the pain.
    Thanks a lot. I feel a lot better now.
    You see, money CAN work miracles.
    Yeah, you’re right. Stuff the animals, where’s the bank?

    Posted by Gerry Mander  on  10/06/08  at  11:18 PM
  342. Gerry, you sound like a latter-day ‘Chicken Little’.

    Is it correct, as Ian Rist states in #339, that the Tasmanian Greens ‘are convinced foxes have established’ in Tasmania. Established requires replication of foxes through breeding locally.

    Perhaps the Greens now have that evidence (or are convinced) that both male and female foxes are living, copulating and crapping in parts of Tasmania; evidence that many have been searching for over many years.

    Nearly two years on, and $1000 fox reward is still out there with the 30 June deadline only weeks off.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  11/06/08  at  02:49 PM
  343. Still no challenges on #331 (plastic )scats,or the fox education lesson plans… liars. Guilty as charged.
    You will have to answer when we get you to the P.A.C. hearing.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  12/06/08  at  08:44 AM
  344. Well David June 30th 2008…I always told you your thousand dollars would be completely safe.
    I had to laugh after reading the Hansard of Budget estimates this week. The court jester was saying the scat collection was used in identifying populations of foxes. I would like to assure you David if I knew where there was ONE fox your thousand dollars would not be safe.
    Seven years this farce has had to produce one fox of their own…not even a photo of a resident fox from the thousands of images taken by remote cameras.
    It really is a joke, I can remember the statements made in 2001… if we can just get through one breeding season with no cubs we will have won.
    It is pleasing to see that the Outwit,Outplay,Outfox nonsense has been removed from all web sites.Maybe there is a ray of light in the new Labor regime? The Police FOI did the trick, maybe we should put that out in the public arena Lindsay? That would get the shredder going.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  27/06/08  at  08:20 PM
  345. For all interested the Fox Reward will be extended again until 31 December 2008; with the same conditions applying.

    It has been offered now for nearly two years.

    If there are fox populations in hotspots where the scats are being found, does this mean they have identified male and female fox DNA in those scats?

    If these are scats from both sexes of fox, then the Department would surely be making the definitive statement that Tasmania now has wild fox ‘establishment’.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  28/06/08  at  06:24 PM
  346. Two comments David… scats coming in from everywhere,but where is the fox?
    If these scats are genuine from such a wide geographic distribution,then all I can say is it’s all over red rover… the foxes have established. Bullshit, I don’t think so!!!

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  03/07/08  at  07:15 PM
  347. Apparently a fox sceptic is creating some many allegations & complaints against the fox program plus requests for FOI information on foxes that DPIW has had dedicate the time of a member of their staff to respond to the issues raised.

    Now who could that wearisome person be?

    Posted by Damien Reid  on  03/07/08  at  11:40 PM
  348. Don’t worry Damien I am sure Mr Dean knows what he is doing.
    The Parliamentary Accounts Committee inquiry will get to the bottom of all this, we all should be welcoming this inquiry if we have nothing to hide and haven’t told any fibs.
    I know there will some amazing revelations come out of all this.
    Bring it on I say.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  04/07/08  at  10:17 AM
  349. According to the latest “fox evidence” 19 fox scats have been found this year across Tasmania… well all I can say is where is just one fox? We must have highly mobile flying foxes, undetectable, invisible with total stealth capabilities.

    You people must think the public are stupid,do you honestly believe the public are THAT stupid?
    All the lies will not cover up the truth.
    There will be some amazing revelations come out of the PAC inquiry. Just who did put the fox on Glen Esk road and the cub at Lillico are two that come to mind. The blood test at Old Beach…the list goes on and on.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  19/07/08  at  11:14 AM
  350. Interesting chat to a journalist a little while ago. It appears most journalists now accept they have been seriously conned on the fox issue.
    Over the years there has been some amazing claims made to support the fox evidence trail,basically they have all fallen over.
    Also what is very obvious is the fact that this whole fox debacle would never stand up to a new Tasmania Police investigation.
    But then again the citizens of Tasmania are accepting such things.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  14/08/08  at  10:32 AM
  351. Wow this is amazing stumbled across this by chance and I thought I would put in my 2 cents.. But first I will say I am not a greeny I’m not a hillbilly and I am probably not of the intelligence to join this debate I am just a young fella who gives a toss…  I have seen one fox in north east Tas.. I also know of 2 other people who frequent the north east that have identified foxes one which was seen but 3 weeks ago spotted eating road kill and was then nearly shot and then pursued across a paddock before disappearing…  I have seen photos of foot prints from the fox seen eating road kill and the local ranger is in the process of checking it out just as I alerted and escorted a ranger to the spot where I had seen the fox he was unable to positively identify the foot prints we found but was able to tell it was a dog like animal and that is gait was simular to that of a fox this ranger also had extensive knowledge of foxes as he had dealt with them on the mainland for many years, also in conversations with another ranger it is apparent that foxes have been in Tasmania for quite some time brought over by the moron sector of Tasmania’s hunting community… the most recent case of foxes being brought in is apparently the brain child of some folks from the midlands who brought over some pups and raised them on a lab bitch… I know what I saw and I trust the people who have told me that they have also seen foxes in the north east the rangers I have spoken with also seem very convinced that there defiantly is foxes in Tasmania.. For the sceptics out there what would it really take for you to believe? Do you kneed the foxes to become that established that you are tripping over them in the street or will the person who actually shoots one have to hold a press conference before he pulls the trigger so that a little photo montage can be made as the fox takes it’s final breath..?

    Posted by Squirril-fish  on  21/08/08  at  11:43 PM
  352. Wow squirril-fish you better grab your musket and head up the North East… three rewards of one thousand dollars, Wow!
    Being so knowledgeable you will be worth a trip to the up coming Public Accounts Committee fox inquiry.
    I best get my hacker to find out who squirrel-fish is so we can find you.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  22/08/08  at  08:07 AM
  353. Hi Squirril-fish
    This is probably one situation where you should say who you are, and give the names of the persons you reported it to, the ranger, witnesses, the date/s, the location etc.

    Otherwise what you write, even though it sounds fair-dinkum, will run the risk of being seen as ‘just another story’.

    I don’t know what to think.  A mate of mine, Chris Spencer told me some years ago that he’d seen a fox at Longford and he did report it and you will see references to him in this thread.  So I believe there has been an actual fox ‘out there’  Then there was the one escaped from the wharf area at Burnie was it? 

    But it’s all a bit like the Thylacine thing.  If they were still alive, then couldn’t we have captured one on film/photo by now?  I want to believe, but it’s like being asked to believe in God.  If God is out there, why can’t he [masculinity not implied by use of the word ‘he’] just give a bit of a hoy and introduce himself to me, one on one!

    Then you have the Yeti…

    Should we believe in the Yeti?  What levels of evidence should we require before we sign up to the Yeti club?  Is anecdotal good enough?

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  22/08/08  at  09:46 AM
  354. Goodaye Garry,yes I do agree squirrel-fish should come forward with his ID and put what he knows to the right people. Especially the bit about the Labrador bitch and fox pups.
    I do acknowledge the Spencer sighting as 100% absolutely definite… it happened just a few days after a fox did jump out of a container at Agfest in May 2001.
    I thought for a time this may have been the fox that was claimed to have been shot at Symmons Plains,but I now know differently.
    If you or anyone is interested I have some 43 pages of Police FOI that certainly puts to bed the cub import release theory.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  22/08/08  at  12:42 PM
  355. I’ve tried to make contact with Squirril-fish by return email. As Garry suggests we need to move out of the game of endless crypto-biology Tassie-style. Not only is ‘credibility’ on trial here but more importantly - if these types of sightings are truthful - then the potential that foxes have indeed established breeding populations in Tasmania.

    The Government program has yet to officially declare this to be the case and yet its erstwhile fox advisor, Tim Bloomfield declared in 2002 that foxes HAD established breeding populations in Tasmania.

    What is the TRUTH here? And who to believe?

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  22/08/08  at  01:45 PM
  356. Yeah well   it’s like this I know what I saw and so do the other 2 people that were with me at the time as the fox ran directly in front of my 4wd while we were travelling at about 20kmph down an off-road trail I escorted the local ranger out to the spot and unfortunately the area where I spotted one was mostly grainy sand so definitive identification of the prints was not possible ..  Case two involves a mate of mine that first tried to run over a fox that he had seen eating road kill how ever he missed continued along the road a little further and then stalked back with his 22 lined up a shot however the fox bolted before he could take the shot he then followed it through some bushland and into a paddock where it gave him the slip, he did however take a photo of the foot prints where he had seen the fox standing. Most of my little spiel before was based on what I have been told by the rangers we spoke to when we reported the sightings as for the reward 1000 dollars isn’t worth the effort as a shooter I would happily bowl a fox over if I had the chance but I wouldn’t go specifically looking for one not for a miserly 1000, and Ian hack away hack away I’m not some fox hunting super hero whose anonymity is a national secret lol believe what you want I won’t lose sleep over weather you believe me or not, I have done my thing and reported my sighting,  it’s attitudes such as yours keep people from reporting it as they feel that they will be put in the same box as someone who’s says they have seen big foot… I have noticed this when I have told people my story and am then told how they too thought that they had seen a fox at some time and so what if it turns out to be a big ginger fluffy tailed cat I’d rather see an effort made and fail then not do anything and have an infestation on our hands..

    Posted by Squirril-Fish  on  22/08/08  at  05:22 PM
  357. Squirril-fish why are you being so defensive? Where did I say I doubted you? I am perfectly happy to believe you saw what you say you saw. What’s the problem? Your real name,though, would have certainly have given your claim much more credibility
    David is absolutely right with his comment “this endless crypto-biology Tassie style”
    My point I constantly make is that with all this evidence,sightings etc. why can’t we produce a single fox?                          Why all the desperation to prove the evidence? If the people desperately protecting their jobs or their ego or whatever believed they had a genuine case none of this “we have got the evidence” that is costantly bombarded upon us would be necessary.
    If this had of been handled from day one without all the paranoia,speculation,guesswork,lies,hoaxing,leg-pulling,empire building etc.etc.etc we ALL would have a much more accurate and sensible assessment of the real situation.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  22/08/08  at  09:04 PM
  358. Squirril-Fish you are hilarious. You wouldn’t happen to be employed by the Fox Task Force would you!?

    Posted by Brian  on  22/08/08  at  09:40 PM
  359. ha ha na not fox tarsk force and Ian ok yeah, ya right.. I thought you were a bit of a dick lol no offence intended but I pretty much ‘‘sound bited’’ my way down the page lol.. look I kind of agree with you the system needs a review i’m not an expert but you are right, something must be goin very wrong if they can’t catch em and it looks like they are here. There must be a big problem somewhere.. oh by the way what do u think of my handle lol sounds kind of mystical ay..

    Posted by Squirril-fish  on  24/08/08  at  09:22 PM
  360. What are you smoking squirrel-fish? Where you on a magical mystery tour when you saw the fox?
    Or do you have two appendages(dicks) you couldn’t be that silly playing with only one!

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  25/08/08  at  08:09 AM
  361. Well it now appears that squirrel-fish is with the ‘jobs for the boys mob’
    What a joke this fox farce has become… can’t wait for the PAC inquiry.
    I would predict araldite purchases(for chair seats) are going up rapidly.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  16/09/08  at  11:53 AM
  362. There are things we now know that we didn’t know before and things we thought we knew that we now know are correct.
    Donald Rumsfeld

    Posted by Donald Rumsfeld  on  25/10/08  at  10:29 AM
  363. According to the TV news last pm we now have a colony of shearwaters wiped out at Swansea by foxes.
    Great opportunity for the fox boys to finally get some rock solid “evidence”  DNA saliva test the carcasses,put a couple of people near the rookery with their spotlights and .223 rifles,after all the Fox Eradication Branch has more highly sophisticated gear than Argentinia’s army,plus all those (43)remote cameras could quickly record what is visiting the rookery.
    Goodness… we have had seven years of this speculation,shock headlines,promises of DNA etc.etc. and then nothing.
    I am wondering how the 8,000 people on elective surgery waiting lists feel about the 5.56 million dollars spent chasing non-tangible foxes?
    We have had “still warm” fox road kills that turn out to be days old,yet are still able to run across the road and be killed again days later,it never ends.
    David Llewellyn you just could not be that thick.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  18/11/08  at  08:40 AM
  364. My inside informant tells me there was a “good” fox sighting near gate 10 at the Burnie/Wynyard airport last week. The cavalry (armed) assembled with a specially acquired beagle tracker dog,got on a scent… Tally Ho… unfortunately the grass became too long and the chase was called off! Work place health and safety.
    The farmer was told to cut the grass and we will come back. I hope the scent is still fresh!!

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  27/11/08  at  07:50 PM
  365. Who briefs Minister Llewellyn on 1080 fox bait usage? Probably the same people who have pulled the wool over his eyes for years.
    I notice in the House of Assembly Hansard 22 October 2008 Minister Llewellyn states “I will note that in 2005 and 2006 the department commenced using 1080 for the activities of fox eradication”
    What planet is this Minister on?
    As it was an arranged Dorothy Dix question from Ms Singh one would have thought the answer would have been much better researched.
    The task free fox force has been using 1080 since 2002.
    It is also stated that 1080 will always be used whilst the “fox threat” continues.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  29/11/08  at  07:06 PM
  366. RE Fox Reward post 365: Mr Rist I suggest you send Minister for Foxes, David Llewellyn a direct email to his Ministerial email addresses and tell him that he has misled the Parliament. You could also inform other members as well.

    Parliament has now risen for the summer break so don’t expect a ‘clarification’ statement before March 2009, if at all!

    His email addresses are: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Then again, perhaps Mr Scott or Mr Boughey have already read your post Ian and informed the Minister of his error.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  30/11/08  at  03:25 PM
  367. I am hoping for the honour of the 366th comment, being a leap year (2008?), it would be appropriate. 

    Last week I was down east of the midlands highway, in the southern Midlands, and saw some properties there with signs erected advising of fox baits being laid.  The landscape was so open you’d think someone would have a camera handy ... one day ...

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  30/11/08  at  09:23 PM
  368. Well!Well! Fox scats recovered across Tasmania… but no actual fox recovered.
    If these scats were genuine there would be foxes behind every tree.
    How are you going to explain this chaps? If there are all those foxes and you can’t catch one, QED (qued erat demonstrandum) you have demostrated your own incompetence.
    By the way have you given the man at Oatlands his Jack Russell terrier (fox) back yet?

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  31/01/09  at  09:46 AM
  369. Ian, if there were foxes laughing at you from behind every tree there would be millions of scats and not dozens.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  31/01/09  at  09:11 PM
  370. dr how about your CV and peer reviewed scientific papers?

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  01/02/09  at  05:53 AM
  371. (370)
        If you are correct Ian , he can show copies of them here, for all to see ! and put that particular matter to rest !  after all ! no one wants to be seen as a “goose” having perhaps been responding to a doctor all this time , do they ?

    Posted by don davey  on  01/02/09  at  09:38 AM
  372. #370 - addressed from a suitable height on other thread.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  01/02/09  at  03:54 PM
  373. From reading these posts I would think that some of the posters actually want foxes in tasmania. Could it be that some of you were actually involved in releasing the foxes in Tasmania in the first place? Why else would anyone want to shut down the fox taskforce unless they had a vested interest?
    I think some of you are so negative that even if the fox task force finds a(nother) fox carcass, along with the scientific evidence proving it had been living here, you would still disbelieve the evidence.

    Posted by bob  on  26/02/09  at  03:10 PM
  374. You better put your money where your mouth is bob. Are you accusing me just like you accused Rigby,Donaldson and Bryant?
    Put up or shut up you bloody coward.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  26/02/09  at  10:39 PM
  375. 359 @ 373
      Bob @ Squirrel fish !  most obviously a vain attempt to con this debate , and in my opinion both receiving recompense from the Govt. in this massive drain on the public purse !
      Not at all convincing , don’t give up your day job !  then again————

    Posted by don davey  on  26/02/09  at  10:47 PM
  376. It seems anyone that disagrees with the general consensus on this site MUST work for the fox task force. This great government conspiracy must run very deep…
    Put up or shut up? My opinion is based on the facts as I see them. From my own personal research it seems the fox task force has put up hard evidence in the form of carcasses and scats as well as hundreds of reported sightings from fellow Tasmanians( These are the same ratepayers that you seem so adamant to protect)
    If you are genuinely concerned with the Governments perceived money wasting I would assume you are spending equal energy on such follies as the Hawthorn football club scandal etc.
    If you are not, I can only assume you have a vested interest in the foxes presence in Tasmania.

    Posted by bob  on  27/02/09  at  09:09 AM
  377. If you have got so much evidence of people releasing foxes in Tasmania bob why don’t you share it with us?
    Talk is cheap.
    You have nothing.
    Forty three pages of Tasmania Police FOI absolutely confirms there is no evidence of fox importation or release in 1998,1999,2000,2001 or which ever year you people pluck out of the air from time to time.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  27/02/09  at  09:36 PM
  378. My point is Mr Rist that I have as much evidence of fox importation, as you do of the taskforce faking evidence. Mr Davey stated categorically(#36) that foxes were imported/bred here in the early 70’s. Are you calling him a liar?
    I think you’re letter is very ironic. Quote “talk is cheap, you have nothing”  If all your claims can be substatiated why haven’t you gone to the Police? Or is it YOU plucking things out of the air?
    If you are so concerned about the running of the fox taskforce I assume you have volunteered to help out with the great scat hunt. Surely this would be the best way to get a real insight into how the fox taskforce works? If evidence is being faked this would be the best way to find out.
    Or are you the typical knocker who just wants to sit back and throw stones, safe in his ivory tower?

    Posted by bob  on  28/02/09  at  09:12 AM
  379. Matter of fact bob I have given the Police a signed statement.
    If you check the comment again I said 1998,1999,2000,2001. That is what this farce was based on.

    This fox import/release thing is all over the shop,EIGHT different publication I have such as Nat. Geo. Time Life etc.etc give FOUR different years this import is supposed to have occured.

    Evidence of fabrication…we will have to wait and see won’t we “bob”.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  28/02/09  at  05:25 PM
  380. (378)
        Bob !  You have misrepresented me ! I said i had seen three carcases in the rear of a 4 wheel drive in the early seventies and when I enquired as to the existence of same to the two young drivers who were employees of certain landed gentry , they informed me that said gentry bred these foxes which were used for weekend fox hunts which were attended by all and sundry of those inclined to such sport including some pollies !
            Reference post (46)
      Now that was then !~  this is now !  and most obviously said landed gentry would not be so stupid as to now be doing such, also i stand by my current beliefs , there are no foxes in Tasmania and this whole eradication scheme is a huge scam foisted upon the public.
      I don’t suppose perchance that you were the individual, whose name incidentaly was Bob, who threatened me with prosecution if i didn’t divulge names are you ?

      As usual those who are benefiting from this scam will use any information they can lay there hands on.

              Get it right ! and DO NOT misrepresent me again !


    Posted by don davey  on  28/02/09  at  11:23 PM
  381. Also re # 378 Me call Mr Davey a liar? Don’t try and muddy the waters again. A liar,that is your tacky choice of words. A liar. Far from it. Don always comes across as being the epitomy of honesty,basic but certainly very,very honest.
    I have no doubt he saw dead foxes in the back of the Land Rover in 1973.
    The same as what Minister Brian Green,driver Rex Bramich, Alex Schaap and Tony Dell saw when I showed them in my outdoor game fridge that day in 2003. Three dead foxes prepared for taxidermy.
    Anyone could produce a dead fox from the mainland, dozens come across every year as trophies or what ever,nothing illegal about that.
    Live Tasmanian foxes now there is another thing,seven years you have had to produce a live one and you have not,and can not.
    Not even a photograph of a Tasmanian fox.
    Why are you all suddenly so worried?
    The inquiry will be a great opportunity for you to put your case and explain where all the money has been spent.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  01/03/09  at  02:28 AM
  382. Mr Davey I did not misrepresent you. You state you saw foxes in Tasmania in the early 70’s. My point was if it happened then, it can happen now.I wouldn’t know you from a bar of soap, so no, I was not the one that threatened you.
    Mr Rist, are you now saying foxes COULD have been imported in years other than those you state? You would make a good politician, full of bluff and bluster but never answering the questions put to you. This would make any reader of this forum more suspicious of your motives. I assume from the foxes in your fridge you are a fox hunter. The jigsaw is starting to fit…

    Posted by bob  on  01/03/09  at  03:14 PM
  383. Dear people of Tasmania,

    This fox erradication scheme is the finest thing I and my family have ever encountered. The fact that it costs so much money is irrelevant when you consider that we as a family are fully dependent on it continuing ad nauseum. The very size of the funding ensures our safety, as nobody employed by this scheme would ever dream of erradicating foxes for fear that the largesse upon which they depend for their rather exaggerated living style would cease if they were ever successful in their task. Whilst this scheme is in place, we cam breathe easily, knowing we are safe. Long may it continue.


    Madame Reynard Redtail

    Posted by Gerry Mander  on  01/03/09  at  06:59 PM
  384. Dear bob,
    Mr Davey is well within his rights to challenge you,he said he saw three fox carcases. Then again bob you people have a habit of trying to change dead ones into live ones or at least still warm ones.
    Presently bob I will show you how full of bluff and bluster I am,I hope bob you are one of the ones on our list.
    No I am not a fox hunter,I used to be a fox shooter protecting our lambs and the ducks and other wildlife along the Goulburn River in Victoria.
    I give you a little clue thickhead,my business is game birds and breeding pointers,I depend on good populations of quail etc.
    I would be the last person that would want to see foxes in Tasmania, we have enough problem with the cats you lot have ignored for years.

    Pieces of the jigsaw… is it your inference bob that I know something about foxes coming into Tasmania?
    Come on say it publicly, I dare you.
    However I do know the names of the people that were involved in some of the shananigans.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  02/03/09  at  08:59 AM
  385. (382)

        I suppose you reckon that if you say it often enough ,people will come to believe it !  Bob! or whatever your name is, if you are intimating that I stated that I saw live foxes” you are a fucking liar” !

    Posted by don davey  on  02/03/09  at  06:37 PM
  386. It seems the general consensus of the ‘non believers’ on this thread is that they want the truth. It also seems to me that a lot of respect is held for the upcoming Fox inquiry. If you believe the truth will come out in this inquiry, I would hope you abide by it’s decision.
    If the inquiry comes out and says that there are no foxes in Tasmania and disbands the taskforce I am prepared to come on this forum and admit that I was wrong. If however it finds there are foxes in Tasmania and continues the taskforce I would expect you gentleman to do the same.
    How about it?

    Posted by bob  on  03/03/09  at  02:05 PM
  387. Al the truth is all we have ever asked for,just the truth.
    This is not about if there are foxes here or if there isn’t foxes here. I honestly don’t know and neither does any one else.
    What I am concerned about is the “evidence”
    Incidents that have been used that I know are not factual and I will prove it.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  03/03/09  at  08:34 PM
  388. Bob or whoever you are , don’t you find it strange that no one ! I repeat,  no one has in 7—8 years been even able to photograph a fox !
      Someone said, but they are wily bastards ! and of course that is true, but experienced hunters have no problem with flushing them out on the mainland do they ?
      I will believe it only when and if one is found or is shot and is found by its stomach contents to have been established here for some time, because it is my belief that this is such a money pit that it is only a matter of time before someone smuggles one in , in an attempt to prove their existence in this state.

      So it also must be said that one will not be proof, there will have to be shown that there is a family at the very least, only then will I concede to likelihood of them being established.


    Posted by don davey  on  03/03/09  at  09:40 PM
  389. Re # 23 & #24 Fox Reward comment.1/09/2006
    Do all these points you made hold up now Tony?
    FoxOff baits? No $? Scat testing No $?
    A friend told me the phones have been running HOT between Hobart,Canberra and Launceston lately.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  04/03/09  at  07:22 AM
  390. Fabrication of evidence, falsification of incidents & wilful misrepresentation of investigations of Tasmania fox incidents are particularly serious matters.

    It comes down to a very simple ethical decision:

    Does the ‘end’ justify the ‘means’?...

    OR…Does the ‘means’ justify the ‘end’?

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  04/03/09  at  08:19 AM
  391. No one on this forum has taken up my challenge to accept the umpires decision, the PAC inquiry. So what does this tell me?
    If you won’t accept the truth of an independant umpire, what will you accept? Seeing with you’re own eyes?  By the time we all see foxes with our own eyes it will be too late.

    Mr Davey I don’t believe you want the truth, you just want to be right. There has already been a fox carcass “found by its stomach contents to have been established here for some time” You don’t believe it now, so why will you believe it the next time or the time after that?

    To compare foxes in tasmania to the mainland is drawing an extremely long bow isn’t it? Foxes number in their hundreds of thousands on the mainland and there are maybe 10-20 here(my own guess). A little more difficult to get a photo of I would think.

    It seems to me the fox taskforce are on a hiding to nothing. If the baiting program works and they manage to get rid of the foxes we may never see a carcass(e.g if a fox crawls into a hole to die) They will have done their job but the non believers will say “there were never foxes here”
    If foxes get established the non believers will say “why didn’t you do something. We could have done a better job”

    What concerns me is that this continual negativity will have an impact on genuine fox sightings. People won’t come forward for fear of ridicule. If this happens the fox will be here to stay.

    Perhaps I am gullible and naive, or you blokes are paranoid and delusional. At least I am prepared to admit when I am wrong.
    We will find out in the fullness of time.

    Posted by bob  on  05/03/09  at  09:47 AM
  392. Well whichever one of you is using this yahoo address, of course the Pac inquiry will get to the bottom of all this and WE all will accept the outcome.
    But I guess if a dead fox turns up on the side of a Tasmanian road after the inquiry then the usual paranoia will prevail.
    As I have always said ... a dead fox on the side of a Tasmanian road is just that(a dead fox on the side of a road) How it got there is the question.
    You people are over doing it again with all these scats and no foxes. It like the endemic mouse in the Geelong fox,it’s just too good.
    Any fool knows you can’t have fox scats from one end of the Island to the other and at the same not be able to produce a fox.
    Anyway what are fox scats? Just the easiest form of easily transported items.
    Have a nice day and just relax a bit,as the dentist says “it will be all over soon”

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  05/03/09  at  02:11 PM
  393. For years and years I have sat back and observed the great fox debate,finally I feel compelled to speak up.
    We are constantly reminded of the evidence of foxes in Tasmania.
    My theory is that for there to be evidence of foxes there must be foxes.
    However the authorities do not seem to be able to catch a Tasmanian fox.
    Do not tell me they are poisoning foxes and not finding the dead ones,that is just plain nonsense,in fact it is bordering on fibbing.
    We had a large property in Victoria and when rural lands people baited for foxes we regularly found the dead ones.
    I remember a picture in the Weekly Times of a pile of poisoned foxes recovered from one property alone.
    Tasmanian foxes must be different to their Victorian cousins or there is something seriously wrong with all of this. I suspect the latter.

    Posted by Ken Johnson  on  05/03/09  at  03:39 PM
  394. I see Mr Peacock has attacked me in the local rag again,I can’t understand what this guy is so worried about. Other than protecting his nest egg in Tasmania I can’t see what his problem is.
    He won’t answer our questions,but he just keeps trying to question us. He is always suggesting there is a faecal fooler at work, I would think there would have to be a number of faecal foolers at work to be that many scats out there and no foxes to back up the scat finds.
    No matter where the FEB looks they seem to be able to find scats… especially strange with dogs that apparently can only find scats if they are in plastic film capsules so I’m told from a senior government department manager.
    All very,very strange.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  05/03/09  at  08:35 PM
  395. Lets not stand on ceremony Bob !  call me “Don” and I’ll call you “confused” ! 

        You say that there may be 20 or so, you say that maybe some have crawled into their den and died !
        Well the way I figure it, in the last 8 or so years and if the poisoning is doing it’s job ,and one is gone, then they all would have met the same fate ! and if they were ever here in the first place they are now gone ! unless of course you believe that individuals are constantly replenishing stock !  now there IS a conspiracy theory !

        Assuming that the Burnie wharf sighting was Kosher, it would have needed a mate to breed ! which would have needed to arrive in the same area or thereabouts in order to find a mate, and that is assuming that the first one survived, and the odds against that are very remote, I suspect you guys are becoming paranoid because the shit is about to hit the fan “BIG TIME” , there are no foxes ADMIT IT !

    Posted by don davey  on  05/03/09  at  11:33 PM
  396. Bad luck Lindsay wouldn’t publish the real names ...anyway I tried.
    But by now they obviously know we know.

    I wonder how the Gov will react to public servants putting out such slanderous crap using Government property.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  06/03/09  at  10:54 AM
  397. As they can’t find a live one, maybe they should try the other option….....

    Who you gonna call….?


    Posted by Gerry Mander  on  06/03/09  at  12:10 PM
  398. Re #396 That was the real names of “Peter Dunn” and “bob”.

    Every dog has his day,we will see how the little apparatchik handles this one.

    The guy that should be really worried is the one that has been supplying all the bogus answer to the leader in the upper house.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  06/03/09  at  05:46 PM
  399. RE #396 and #398
    So you are saying you know my name and that I am a public servant?
    Very interesting. Perhaps this is just a ruse to find out my real identity…
    Or more likely, this just proves what you are really all about. You are quite happy to publicly print absolute lies to further your crusade. After these posts I have no doubts that all the information you claim to have is of the same quality as #396 and #398.
    Absolute fantasy!

    Posted by bob  on  08/03/09  at  10:29 AM
  400. Nice try “bob” You are about as effective at finding foxes and really I don’t put any value on your opinion any way.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  08/03/09  at  05:46 PM
  401. I agree with you Don, Ian and Gerry, bob sure has something to hide. HE or HIS would be getting a big lick out of this fox scam somewhere.
    It really is too silly to be concerned with and I don’t know why you good people even bother,let the people in charge of funding work it out and if they are too stupid then just let it go.
    It is my belief there aren’t any foxes here,after all this time we would have been finding cubs and dens,foxes don’t grow under toad stools you know and the stork certainly doesn’t bring them.

    Posted by Ken Johnson  on  08/03/09  at  06:38 PM
  402. Tasmanian Times’ Fox Reward blog has now attracted it’s 400th comment!

    Unless I am wrong, this would make it the-longest-running and most-contributed-to article posted on Tasmanian Times yet.

    In time to come this stream of jousting debates, question-answer repartee, sometimes personally barred accusations and the quite frequent ‘pearls’ cast into the fox pot WILL be re-read as a valuable chronical.

    Could I suggest - to the Tasmanian Times editor - that he now commences ‘volume 2’ of Fox Reward comments from future comments, 400 onwards?

    Access to both comment volumes (Volume 1 & Volume 2) should be still available on-line.  Lately for me, on slow dial-up speeds, downloading to the latest comments can take a while.

    I’m sure the various fox officiandos cut & paste these many comments to a word file (especially ‘rare’ e-editions WILL BE those with the comments that only get up for 24 hours or less - Mr Rist (& perhaps others!) will have kept those valuable ‘limited editions.’)

    Please keep commenting on this important issue.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  10/03/09  at  08:21 AM
  403. Yes David I agree it needs to be volume one and two.
    Just recently I have been amazed at the number of letters in the local papers from people that are absolutely livid at the Government over the fox issue. Seven anti letters I have counted in the last couple of weeks. One person from Launceston,a Mr Purcell raised an interesting point. He apparantly is an ex Vic. farmer and asked why can’t we find dead poisoned foxes?
    You can’t find what isn’t there Mr Purcell it is as simple as that. He commented on the unmistakeable smell of dead fox. Which reminds me didn’t the Fox force once have trained dogs specifically to find fox carcasses?
    It really is time the politicians that were conned a long time ago and nailed their colours to the mast had the courage to admit they were wrong.

    Posted by Ken Johnson  on  11/03/09  at  07:22 AM
  404. Here is a comment placed on a Mercury newspaper story on Tuesday 9 March entitled: “Wildlife claims lost in conflict”.

    To see what the government thinks about our wildlife, watch carefully their response to the questions about the foxes found in a Forestry Tas ute at Wederburn in Victoria by volunteer firefighters at between 7 and 8 in the morning on Thursday 26th Feb, while they were delivering the vehicle to the staging area. Some are on notice, I am told. Plenty of witnesses, I hear, and the forestry supervisor on site told them “he would deal with it”. What was done? Why were the foxes there? what agenda is being run here? The questions go on and on, but the thing that staggers me so far, is that no one is amazed by this. Journo’s, you have been given a bone, go find the bloody carcase.

    Posted by: no names 4:01pm Tuesday 10 March 09

    [NOTE: Wedderburn is 74km NW of Bendigo on the Calder Highway]

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  11/03/09  at  12:16 PM
  405. Is anyone asking questions in the Parliament?  Hullo is there anybody out there?

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  11/03/09  at  01:04 PM
  406. More scats,but where are the foxes?
    This is looking more sinister by the day.
    I think it is time the police looked at this.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  11/03/09  at  07:50 PM
  407. From the outside the whole debate seems a bit bizarre. I struggle to believe in conspiracy theories that have scat smugglers distributing poo from one end of the state to the other in the hope someone will find it.
    I also struggle to believe in conspiracy theories that have an entire task force pretending to find scats that they just got out of their back pack. Not that I don’t believe people capable of it, but to maintain a really good deception is unbelievably difficult (ref: what a tangled we weave, etc).
    So what’s the truth. I’ve no problem with no carcasses being found. Lots of bush, very small numbers, could search for years and never find a thing but the scats are harder. Shits here, lives here?

    Posted by Steve  on  11/03/09  at  09:17 PM
  408. 402, 403,
          hey guy’s ! buy a couple of memories for your computers , they’re only 20 to 30 bucks each and dead easy to install.


    Posted by don davey  on  11/03/09  at  10:29 PM
  409. Steve, I was holidaying in the Australian Alps during December last year and walked along the tourist tracks around parts of the Main Range track and along the sealed road from Perisher village to Charlotte Pass. I photgraphed many clusters of dried canid/fox scats and could easily have brought home several plastic bags full!

    It is not fanciful that what shits some place else could finish up as ‘hard physical evidence’ collected in Tasmania..IF the intention IS to deceive.

    The critical piece of the puzzle that validates the “what shits here, lives here” concept is the additional, and a different-type of physical evidence that irrefutably identifies the live defaecator-animal to that Tasmanian locality.

    That’s IS what is required; hence the terms of the $1000 Fox Reward!

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  12/03/09  at  09:53 AM
  410. Steve all good points.There are several ways of interpreting this.
    These are the options.

    1.There are several foxes widely distributed across the state and are scatting across the state.
    Observation 1. There are no foxes are being recovered by any means. Simply put IF foxes were here in even small numbers the NON RECOVERY of foxes is just not possible.
    No other type of evidence is being offered from these scatting sites i.e footprints,confirmed sightings,dens,cubs,remote camera images,chicken house raids etc etc.
    2.Scats are being deliberately planted or hoaxed.
    A2.The scats would have to be collected from fox locations on the mainland and the brought to Tasmania.Innocent volunteer local scat collectors would have to cover a massive amount of ground to find the planted scats if they didn’t know where to look.
    3.Animal scats of many different origins are being recovered and sent for DNA testing.
    A3.We have DNA fox positive scats at some point being inserted in with the animal scats made available for testing.
    4.There is a deliberate attempt by persons to keep this fox issue alive and well.
    A4.After seven years have gone by without one irrefutable,uncontestable piece of fox evidence being recovered by a credible or non-anonymous Tasmanian .i.e we have farmers that are on their land all day and night without ever seeing a fox but foxes are being “road killed” outside their front gates! And after over two years three separate $1000 fox rewards have remained uncollected and yet there are Tasmanians spotlighting and hunting these fox hotspot areas regularly. It appears it is easier to run three foxes over on Tasmanian roads than it is to shoot one.
    5.Cui Bono.(Who benefits?)
    A5.Persons who have questioned fox evidence for years have been quickly called “conspiracy theorists”. We really need to have a complete,independent police investigation into all this to see who the actual conspirators are.I am ready for it and prepared to undergo any questions put to me by any authority,BUT are the “foxes are everywhere” people prepared to undergo such scrutiny?


    Posted by Ian Rist  on  12/03/09  at  10:32 AM
  411. 409; David,I wasn’t questioning the ability of getting scats into tassie. You could probably bring an entire container load of foxes in if you knew the ropes!
    My concern was how they are getting collected. Ian, in 410-3 addresses this by pointing out that they could be inserted into the testing chain after collection. This seems credible, as it doesn’t involve a huge conspiracy, but it does depend on the procedure for scat collection? I would have thought that the correct procedure would be for a scat of interest to be collected, then sealed into a bag with a standardised tag attached giving details of what, where, who, etc. Anything less leaves the whole system wide open to errors, deliberate and otherwise.

    Posted by Steve  on  12/03/09  at  02:13 PM
  412. Re #412: In forensic parlance, especially crime scene investigations Steve, this is referred to ‘chain of custody’ authentication.

    For this reason the collection and recording of every piece of significant crime scene evidence, from start to end, is necessary for admissibility as prima facie evidence especially if it is used to support a significant prosecution such as murder, attempted murder, GBH or rape.

    Because the molecular technologies used in forensic DNA tests can be prone to contamination, laboratory quality control has to be rigorous also.

    After all these additional gender-specific and geno-typing tests on the 2008 fox-positive scats, it still requires site-specific corroborative evidence of live fox presence. Or have these “happy-crapper” foxes now been ‘eradicated’?

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  12/03/09  at  05:10 PM
  413. Questions asked in the Upper House on the 22nd of October 2008 concerning the ability of DNA to determine the gender of foxes from scats the answer was given NO they could not.
    Yet it appears now in March 2009 that YES we can.
    “they are not currently able to determine the gender of the fox or in fact to distinguish between different foxes” was the answer given by Mr Parkinson to Mr Dean.
    I think Mr Obendorf we may be unwittingly educating these “slow learners”

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  12/03/09  at  05:21 PM
  414. 412; David, we seem to have some comment tracking issues of our own; unless of course there actually was another 411 who’s been abruptly pulled because of legal issues. More tangled web?
    “Chain of custody” sounds very grand, but surely it is just common sense? Keep it simple and keep it traceable. When a DNA test turns up a fox positive you want to be able to go to Mr Reynard Dodgy and say “Please show me the exact location you collected this scat on 29/2/09”
    I have no knowledge of the current state of play. Is this what is done presently, or do they just send off a garbage bag full of scats “collected in Tasmania”?

    Posted by Steve  on  12/03/09  at  08:46 PM
  415. In answer to the question as to the origin of the fox scats ! in my opinion , from the pockets of the finders, seems logical to me.

    Posted by don davey  on  12/03/09  at  09:19 PM
  416. Further to my comments(415) if ! it is indeed correct that over $50,000,000 has been spent on this farce, then those responsible are not about to get caught easily to face the consequences, and at the risk of putting notions in their heads ,how easy to charter a yacht and bring “Senor Reynard” and family over and let them loose, why not several families , after all,  this is a scam of monumental proportions in my opinion, and significant heads could be about to roll.

    Posted by don davey  on  13/03/09  at  11:28 AM
  417. Lets assume someone within the taskforce is obtaining fox scats from the mainland and bringing them into this state. This person(s) are then either leaving them in an area they know will be searched, or as Mr Davey suggests producing them from their pocket in the field. I guess this is a plausible argument.

    These scats would then be sent away to the mainland for analysis of dna and also general makeup i.e what the animal had been eating, hair, pollen, dust samples etc. For the continuation of the hoax the scientists would have to be corrupt as well.

    I could believe that a small number of people may collude to perform a hoax like this. However I couldn’t see an organisation with around 40 employees all being like minded enough to perform an act like this. Then you have to factor in scientists from the mainland that aren’t involved in the day to day running of the taskforce. Why would they want to get involved? Testing fox scats would be a minor part of their jobs so why would they risk their own positions?

    Every work place I have been involved with have always been made up of a variety of personalities. Even with minor work place issues
    there would always be dissenters.

    I just can’t see it happening.

    Posted by bob  on  13/03/09  at  11:37 AM
  418. Bob I think you are trying to act dumb. All the motives are there,jobs,money,positions of importance and all the other little perks you wouldn’t have if you were still cutting tracks,working in a boring information centre or chasing a long gone Tassie Tiger.
    As for across the water if you had a never ending income stream from testing shit to the tune of half a million dollars for a couple of years,selling the two headed suckers baits for foxes that don’t exist at an even bigger income,man o’ man I’d be making sure that Lab. trainee got it right.

    Posted by Ken Johnson  on  13/03/09  at  01:46 PM
  419. 417; My point exactly Bob. I can believe in monumental stupidity, incompetence, laziness etc, etc but I struggle to believe in successful hoaxing that involves more than a couple of people.

    Posted by Steve  on  13/03/09  at  02:04 PM
  420. (417)
        Not at all Bob !  my information is that no scat,s have been determined to contain anything which determines they are endemic to Tasmania , so the whole thing could start and end with those who supposedly hunt them ! and continually confirm to their superiors that the are indeed close, however it has now gone on so long ! and so much money wasted , that those at the top, most probably realising their predicament ,have no where to go, like the gambler who continues to gamble in order to win back his losses.

    Posted by don davey  on  13/03/09  at  02:08 PM
  421. Spot on steve there would only be a few who know the real deal. It’s hard to know who you can trust these days.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  13/03/09  at  02:46 PM
  422. Scat analysis can involve molecular testing using genomic technologies for DNA extraction and amplification of species-specific marker genes. It can also be examined at a grosser level for its dietary contents (insects, small mammal bones, hair teeth, berries & fruit seeds etc), grooming hairs from the animal that produced the scat etc.

    It may be that further forensic tests on these DNA-postive scats recorded as from Tasmania will support their genuine origination being Tasmania. Time will tell.

    We can conclude that these scats are definitely fox scat - based on the accuracy of the Canberra testing laboratory - however, the location where the foxes that produced these scats reside has not been proven; the FEP has produced no supporting evidence of fox presence from those Tasmanian scat-sites. Unless FEP would like to inform us.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  13/03/09  at  05:25 PM
  423. The scats really get to the heart of the matter. They are either genuine or they were introduced. As you say Ian, it could be possible for a very small number of people to do this, but surely, there’s a very short list of people in a position to introduce bogus scats. The risk would be huge. How could you know that the scat you were introducing would not carry some solid proof of it’s origin. As Bob said, the persons analysing the scats wouldn’t stick their neck out.
    Seems to me that a lot hinges on how the scat collection operates. Does anyone have any factual knowledge of how a scat finds it’s way from collection to examination?

    Posted by Steve  on  13/03/09  at  06:52 PM
  424. We are going around in circles people ! read Davids statement(422)  ” The location where the foxes that produced these scats reside has not been proven; the FEP has produced no supporting evidence of fox presence from those Tasmanian scat-sites.” 

        Which is exactly upon what I based my reference in my last post !

    Posted by don davey  on  13/03/09  at  10:10 PM
  425. Steve re # 423 go to internet Google exactly as;

    Field sampling protocol for trace DNA samples.

    That is how it SHOULD be done.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  15/03/09  at  01:50 PM
  426. The sampling is done professionally - see the DPIW website.  Ian Rist wouldn’t know - seems he doesn’t want to know, actually.

    The 5 most recently reported were collected by several different people in different locations.

    Davey Rist and Obendorff are making outrageous claims based purely on their own guesses and silly claims.

    Posted by mulder  on  15/03/09  at  07:02 PM
  427. 425; Thanks for the link/suggestion Ian. It was interesting. Seems that there are some definite steps to follow but nothing too technically demanding.
    Is that the procedure that is meant to be followed here? Don may think we’re going around in circles but no-one seems to have come forward to explain the procedure that’s actually used here. Seems a bit strange. I would assume there’s quite few people collecting and I would have thought there’d be a printed procedure that’s readily available.
    Or am I being really obtuse here and there is such a procedure which everyone, bar me, knows about?

    Posted by Steve  on  16/03/09  at  07:42 AM
  428. Mulder you keep changing that hotmail address so often you are harder to track sometimes than the fox. Why don’t you just come out and be a brave boy and use your real name.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  16/03/09  at  08:52 AM
  429. It’s actually pretty simple,they even have called for volunteers off the street,and I must say good well intentioned people no doubt.
    However they also use the fox squad mainly the ones that they don’t know what to do with for the day…that have run out of Barbecues and places to go.
    Then of course they have AGFA,FUJI and KODAK,the famous scat detection dogs, the ‘we can find scats’ as long as they are in plastic film containers. Well that is according to one of their very senior managers.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  16/03/09  at  09:00 AM
  430. Mulder,Mulder,Mulder. You wish…if only Davey Rist and Obendorff didn’t know what they are doing. We know exactly what we are doing,slowly but surely getting to the truth.

    What you need to worry about is how you are going to explain all those answers that have been trotted out to Michael and Doug. Can’t erase the Hansard mate. What about Davey Lewy? How are you going to explain this mess to him?

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  16/03/09  at  11:28 AM
  431. Sorry Mulder, I wrote #427 before your #426 appeared.
    Yes, I’ve seen the DPIWE website but I couldn’t locate anything about the handling procedure for the scats. Can you help out with a link?
    There’s a bit on how the pairs of poo hunters are tracked by GPS and that the location of scats is recorded. Very good but earlier discussions have indicated that if there’s any hoaxing happening, it’s happening further along the chain, where the scats congregate in one place.
    Personally, at this stage, I find it more credible that the scats that are being found, actually are being found where recorded. To me a bit depends on how rigorous the process is that prevents the samples being tampered with.
    I’ve persisted on the scat question because it seems a black and white question. It will be interesting to see if someone can now produce a dead fox whose DNA ties up with a scat.

    Posted by Steve  on  16/03/09  at  04:53 PM
  432. The Glen Esk road Conara fox would have been convincing Steve but they missed that opportunity.
    I reckon you would have had to search for a matching scat for the 1st August Conara fox a long way from here on very high ground.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  17/03/09  at  07:24 AM
  433. Ian Rist should read the report “Foxes in Tasmania: a Report on an Incursion of an Invasive Species” (Saunders, G., Lane, C., Harris, S., and Dickman, C. 2006)

    These authors are all highly qualified to assess the operations of the Fox Eradication Taskforce in Tasmania:

    •  Dr Glen Saunders, Vertebrate Pest Research Unit, NSW Department of Primary Industries,
    •  Mr Chris Lane, Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre, NSW Department of Primary Industries,
    •  Professor Stephen Harris, School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol, UK, and
    •  Professor Chris Dickman, Institute of Wildlife Research, School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney.

    The terms of reference for the report were:

    1.  After examining available evidence, provide expert commentary as to the likelihood of foxes occurring in Tasmania;
    2.  Review and recommend available techniques for monitoring and managing foxes at low densities and how these might be applied in Tasmania;
    3.  Comment on proposals for future research and development or monitoring, including the proposed IACRC demonstration site; and
    4.  Comment on any other matters deemed relevant to avoiding or reducing fox impact in Tasmania.

    Report’s conclusions:

    ‘After examining all of the available evidence on foxes we conclude that an unknown number of foxes have been deliberately and/or accidentally introduced to Tasmania since 1998 and that some of these and possibly their progeny are still living in the wild in Tasmania.  This should be the starting premise for the way forward; not debating the merits of past actions or the veracity of all reports.

    The likely density of these foxes is still at a stage where eradication is achievable provided the necessary resources are made available.

    While we interviewed many who claimed that the evidence for presence of foxes has been the subject of continuous hoaxing and fabrication, not one person was prepared to match their conviction with the risk of doing nothing and foxes becoming permanently established in Tasmania.

    On reviewing the situation elsewhere, particularly on mainland Australia, there is absolutely no doubt that foxes are capable of successfully colonising Tasmania.  Were this to occur, the cost to Tasmania’s economy and more importantly, its biodiversity, would be catastrophic.(P5).

    The authors’ Key Recommendation (1) was that: ‘Actions taken to remove the threat of foxes establishing in Tasmania have been extraordinary and the Fox free Taskforce (past and present members) should be officially commended for their dedication’.

    Posted by Bob Holderness-Roddam  on  17/03/09  at  07:29 AM
  434. Bob I have read it many times and refer to it all the time.

    This report is much like putting Dracula in charge of the blood bank.The people that were responsible for the report have a vested interest in the claim foxes are in Tasmania.

    The “evidence” that swayed this report was mainly collected from three incidents in 2006.

    1. The cub remains found at Lillico after authorities being made aware of them by an unknown Canberra cyclist who claims to have seen the fresh fox cub two months previously i.e. Chrismas day 2005and reported on the 23rd February 2006.
    It seems this incident has all changed according to Nick Mooney’s Foxes: it’s simple.
    Apparantly according to Mooney’s answer to my Fox Statement TT January 2009…“we now have an anonymous rabbit shooter that shot the cub somewhere else and put it at the Lillico Penguin site so it would be noticed”. Methinks Mr Mooney will regret making that statement.
    2. Blood allegedly collected from a chicken coop at Old Beach in May 2006 from which fox DNA was extracted.
    Certain people (I have documentary evidence) were aware of the results weeks before the media thru’ one particular paper conducted a campaign with five different stories to turn a couple of drops of blood into a fully fledged fox kill at Old Beach.  Incidentally the journalist now works for the Government.
    Bring this one on I say.
    3.The famous now not so warm Glen Esk Road Conara fox 1st August 2006. I am keeping my powder dry on this one.
    These three unconvincing reports were the basis for a report released only a few weeks later; Foxes in Tasmania: A report on an incursion by an invasive species.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  17/03/09  at  08:40 AM
  435. I think what we have got here are Flying Foxes, and they are certainly earning their frequent flier points! Dropping their scats willy-nily all over Tasmania, and never staying in one place long enough to be caught.

    Most foxes tend to live in a lair, usually near a good source of food, like a chook farm, and they don’t just drop one set of scats, they go out everyday for a poo, so if you find a set of scats, then there should be a fox around somewhere in the vicinity and a lot more little piles of poo. Strangely, with all our ingenuity and technology, Reynard outwits the searchers every time, and like Harvey the Rabbit, remains completely invisible.
    Maybe they should set him up as a tourist attraction. ‘Come to Tassie and spot a fox. Collect a Thousand Dollars!’ Should get them pouring in.

    Personally, I think he deserves a medal!

    Posted by Gerry Mander  on  17/03/09  at  06:59 PM
  436. 435; That’s very fair comment Gerry. Once positive scats are found in an area, one would expect further evidence, even if the poo source is cunning enough to remain concealed.
    I find it slightly puzzling that DNA can tell us that these foxes (the pooing ones) are not related but can’t tell us their relationship to the alleged road kill fox.

    Posted by Steve  on  17/03/09  at  08:55 PM
  437. Yes steve it is very unusual not to find any other ‘evidence’ in fact not unusual just impossible.
    I always chuckle about this super cunning,super invisible, totally cryptic fox. Bollocks. Foxes are one of the easiest of animals to locate of a night with a spotlight. The tapetum (reflective mirrors) in their eyes gives one of the strongest and unmistakeable signatures in the animal world.
    Foxes are also easy to call in with a predator call (rabbit distress whistle) at certain times of the year they actually come running.
    Their stomach will always get them in the end.
    Tasmania has certainly been spun some scat.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  19/03/09  at  07:37 AM
  438. RE #433ƲThe great Tasmanian Fox Taskforce conspiracy is now worldwide!It seems Professor Stephen Harris, School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol, UK, is also in on the Tas government (consultancy)...

    Some of these delusional posts are truly hilarious, keep them coming.

    Posted by bob  on  08/04/09  at  05:44 PM
  439. Yes a couple of odd names in Dickman and Harris amongst the other purveyors of poison.
    Isn’t Harris the person that operates The Fox Website?

    Impressive names aside; bottom line is in eight years they ain’t got a single Tasmanian fox.

    Not a very impressive strike rate in this current climate of taxpayers funds being required to be put to good use.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  08/04/09  at  09:35 PM
  440. Identity theft deleted

    Posted by Tony peacock  on  10/04/09  at  04:18 PM
  441. Nice try dear boy,if you think I am going to give you any insight into what I know…think again.
    Even your old allies will be there as well and it will be all dealt with… not in the media court that has prevailed for so long, to no effect.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  10/04/09  at  09:22 PM
  442. David your thousand dollar reward is in serious trouble,be prepared to pay out.
    According to Nick Mooney on the ABC 7.30 report Tuesday 21/04/2009 there is an explosion in fox numbers in Tasmania…and they still can’t capture one!
    Never have I heard such nonsense.
    I guess when you are desperate anything goes.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  21/04/09  at  08:13 PM
  443. #442 My land phone and mobile are accesible. On call for a fox reward call out.

    The ‘explosion of foxes’ Mr Nooney is referring to must relate to the ‘evidence’ of eight genetically different, DNA-positive fox scats now located from various parts of Tasmania. The interpretation being that there are eight different foxes and at least two females defaecating in Tasmania in 2009.

    Now I would get somewhat more interested if their genomic micro-satellite results (via Dr Berry’s laboratory at UWA) showed that a Tasmanian location had recovered MORE THAN ONE scat deposited by the SAME fox.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  22/04/09  at  02:42 PM
  444. Not likely David,these rare,invisible Tasmanian Foxes only crap once in their life time,usually where the crap hunters are searching that day.
    What do they call an individual that automatically believes their own crap ?

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  22/04/09  at  04:31 PM
  445. Re: 444, what do you call an individual who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject?

    Posted by Henry the Plumber  on  22/04/09  at  08:18 PM
  446. (445)
        Dedicated ! is what I say ! whilst gutless, wankers like you snipe away anonymously like the rest of the bludgers benefiting from this fraud on Tasmanian taxpayers.

    Posted by don davey  on  23/04/09  at  01:30 AM
  447. Dig the hole a bit deeper Henry the plumber,nice to know you are keeping an eye on the sinking ship.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  23/04/09  at  07:59 AM
  448. Also Henry the plumber if you people were half smart(and you certainly are not)you wouldn’t be putting out all this nonsense all the time and be expecting people to believe it.
    If you were the slightest bit confident foxes are here you wouldn’t be putting out this self-justifying crap all the time. Are you you trying to convince your own with your crap so you sleep easier or do you just want to stay on the gravy train as long as possible?
    You would be just quietly going about your business,producing a fox every so often and you wouldn’t have all this self doubt and controversy.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  23/04/09  at  11:54 AM
  449. I notice from the latest weekly edition of “Fox pops newsletters”

    that we are getting fox vocalisations here there and everywhere. Still no fox.
    We are fox trapping at Burnie. Still no fox.
    Spotlighting from Devonport to Boat Harbour. Still no fox.
    We are laying hundreds of thousands of 1080 meat baits across the state. Still no fox.
    Rabbit kill at Woodbridge (whatever that is supposed to imply).Still no fox.
    Animal??? kill at Carrick. Still no fox.

    Actually nine years on,many,many millions of taxpayer dollars…and still no fox.

    If the minister was acting responsibly to the taxpayer and all Tasmanians he would step in and put all the checks and balances on this charade and then act accordingly.

    But while ever certain people in the DPIW keep telling the minister that we have a problem he will keep telling the Goverment we have a problem and this Goverment will keep telling the Federal Goverment we have a problem…the circus goes on.

    It is nice to see that taxpayer dollars are being spent wisely.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  08/06/09  at  09:50 AM
  450. I have just spent hours reading the blog on the Tasmanian Foxes.
    I am Tasmanian born and bred, with a break of living in Fox riddled Victoria for 21 years and am now back in Tassy.

    Sometimes you have to step back and look at the BIG PICTURE>

    Prior to my leaving Tasmania, the big topics of the day were…. a fox came to tasmania and entered Burnie from a container ship…. and the hunt was on.

    Prior to my leaving Tasmania, the first of the poppy crops had gone in and had been harvested.

    when I returned to Tasmania, I did quite a few road trips to refamiliarise myself with what had been a well trodden stomping ground in the Northern Midlands.

    I noticed all sorts of things.

    I noticed that on some of the back roads through the midlands, fox eradication 1080 baits had been laid, with signs on a lot of fences.

    I noticed that one year later, the bait signs had been taken down and that the land was being planted with POPPIES…. yes…. poppies.

    I noticed then that TPI had developed their new premises on the very same road that the fox baits had been laid on.

    I noticed that the new water pipeline had some very stringent conditions attached to it.

    the farmers were required to cease growing grain crops and breeding cattle or sheep and convert to growing blue gums or poppies in order to get access to the water.

    Interesting that water, poppies, blue gums, baiting and foxes all happen to be a focus in the northern midlands….

    I want to know the connection. which animals that would take the bait could possibly harm the blue gum seedlings and poppy seedlings.

    Is anything coming together here?

    just thoughts

    just pictures


    Posted by nerreman  on  03/08/09  at  10:50 AM
  451. Yes Yvonne it’s all part of a very,very complex story… just briefly the animals that will consume the currently used fox baits are;
    Tasmanian Bettong,Long-nosed Potoroo,Brushtail Possum,Tasmanian Rufus wallabies,Dusky Antechinus,Eastern Quolls,Spotted Tailed Quolls,Tasmanian Devils and just about any other omnivorous Tasmanian animal including Wombats.
    The Hansard of the Legislative Council 30th October 2007 will show what animals visiting 1080 fox bait sites have been captured on infra red motion sensor cameras placed at the 1080 fox bait sites. They have been Tasmanian Devils,Quolls,Brushtail possums,wombats,echidnas and feral cats…but no foxes captured on cameras.
    Are you suggesting there could be a connection between “fox” baiting and plantations?
    Interestingly one of the biggest purchasers of 1080 Foxoff baits (in better financial times) believe it or not…were Timbercorp.
    But (tongue in cheek) we don’t have anything to worry about,we were assured in the early part of the baiting program (2001-2002)that only foxes would take the hard dried kangaroo baits and besides the native carnivores wouldn’t be able to chew the hard baits and therefore not ingest any 1080 poison!!!!!
    The commercially prepared soft baits used now are a whole different ball game.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  03/08/09  at  08:50 PM
  452. So if Tasmanian bettong - the subterranean truffle feeders - are known to find and eat these soft 1080 fox-meat baits AND our Tasmanian bettongs are highly susceptible to being killed at the bait concentratioins in these baits. Why are the FEP using these soft baits, Ian?

    The soft-meat Foxoff baits, as featured on the ABC-TV “Feral Peril” documentary recently, are known to be consumed by bettongs and the Tasmanian bettongs are an endemic Tasmanian species. What’s going on?

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  03/08/09  at  11:43 PM
  453. Suggest you ask your mate at the DPIW Dave…
    Their own research says “we quickly found a greater variety of wildlife would eat Foxoff than would (or could) eat the dried kangaroo meat”

    They agreed 40g chunks of dried kangaroo meat were the only way to go “as the dried kangaroo meat is very hard for most wildlife (including quolls) to eat while dry”

    Somewhere in a back room someone has done a deal to use Foxoff…I first noticed it’s use in the documentary “The Devils Advocate” then paifully obvious in “Feral Peril” especially with the Foxoff bucket in full view behind the bait layers!

    CRC invasives and it’s spin offs now have a monoply on all the action (and the money).
    The Institute for Applied Ecology in Canberra do all the scat testing and forensics, Pestat supply the Pheramones and Animal Control Technologies supply the Foxoff baits.
    Tidy arangement eh?

    I have the original hard copy of the above mentioned reports if anyone wants them as a scanned document. I would gladly send them to your email address if you are having trouble retrieving them from the new environment website.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  04/08/09  at  08:49 AM
  454. Yes please. I would like a copy of the reports emailed to me.

    Interesting replies thankyou. keep them coming.

    Posted by nerreman  on  04/08/09  at  09:18 PM
  455. Well, Ian is continuing to claim that bettongs and antechinus will consume the currently laid fox baits.  But neither of these species are mentioned in the Hansard of 30 Oct 2007 to which Ian refers.

    In #22 of the thread I pointed out that there was reference elsewhere to impacts on bettongs of ground-laid baits, but also indicating that these impacts were likely to be negligible.  I asked Ian what his evidence was concerning the likely impacts on bettongs and antechinus and he failed to respond to that question (or indeed to anything in #53 on that thread.)

    So we are still waiting for Ian (or anyone else) to produce evidence that consumption of these baits by bettongs or antechinus is a significant issue.  If bettongs *were* consuming them in dangerous doses and in any numbers worth speaking of I would agree that that was a serious problem.  However, Ian has not demonstrated that this is the case.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  04/08/09  at  09:20 PM
  456. Please Kevin read the DPIW’s report, I can’t be bothered debating with you.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  05/08/09  at  08:28 AM
  457. Ian (#456), which DPIW report?  There have been several reports connected with the fox issue; please state which one and preferably provide a link.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  05/08/09  at  02:34 PM
  458. Kevin, it also might be worth your while to read the TGFA submission to

    By the
    May 2007
    Recorded in hansard.

    Burying heads in the sand is not an effective way of dealing with this problem. it is here and it is real.

    Posted by nerreman  on  05/08/09  at  06:00 PM
  459. Kevin, I am also curious as to why you have singled out only two species. Is it because you are looking for something to argue about?
    There are many species named in the many reports that are being referred to. What about those?

    Posted by nerreman  on  05/08/09  at  06:03 PM
  460. nerreman (#459), I have singled out those two species because they are not named in the Hansard which Ian keeps using as a source.  Therefore I want to know what his evidence is concerning those two species.  Bettongs are of particular interest because they are argued by some zoologists I know to be of potential conservation concern irrespective of foxes.  As for the remaining species Ian mentions, most are not of the slightest conservation concern and concerns about poisoning of quolls have been thoroughly addressed in the article at

    The links to reports provided by Ian in #453 are broken so I cannot see which report he is referring to.

    Does the TFGA submission contain evidence that fox baiting is a risk to bettongs or to antechinus?

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  05/08/09  at  08:56 PM
  461. Tasmanian Times has the full articles from the DPIWE on the risk of Foxoff baits laid in Eastern Bettong habitat… I am trusting Lindsay to publish them or parts thereof.
    (Ed: Yep: )

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  05/08/09  at  08:58 PM
  462. Thanks Ian.  Looks like mostly the same material (to the extent that it is relevant at all) that I already commented on on the Explosion thread.  Anyway I have commented again on the new thread.

    By the way it is now DPIPWE following the redistribution of the parts of the old DEPHA.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  06/08/09  at  12:29 AM
  463. Out Foxed

    Well, bless my socks; it’s a fox,
    Forestry say and they’re adamant.
    They’ve baited for years
    Despite all the tears
    And animal welfare ‘badgerment’.
    Still wildlife is dying
    And still they keep trying
    If only to justify costs.
    But where is the fox?
    It’s as elusive as Nox.
    Hang on, I see one flying.
    A flying fox?
    What a paradox
    Maybe they’ll have to regroup
    It’s bad enough with the beast on the ground
    Without it flying the coup.
    Let’s face it matey
    Just to use 1080
    You’ve had to create this farce
    Now you’re stuck with mess
    So why not confess.
    A fox… a fox my arse.

    Posted by David Leigh  on  13/09/09  at  09:04 AM
  464. If I had let my chooks run around on the mainland as I do here, they would have been gobbled up in a very short time, No… I do not lock my Hens up at night they roost where they will, and in the morning they are still alive and clucking, althought the Rooster advertises his presence from about 4.00 am

    Recently we were advised that they were baiting in the area (Derby) due to the supposed sighting of Foxes.. What a load of Bovine Excreta .. Still no Foxy bodies,, Just as I predicted .. and still the farce goes on and on.. Just and excuse to use 1080 and destroy the local wildlife..F.M.

    Posted by Freddi Mazoudier  on  13/09/09  at  08:13 PM
  465. please let me know how many new blue gum plantations are being prepared in the region around Derby… is the land cleared and planted already?
    Interesting to note that they are nearing the territory of fairly recent Tasmanian tiger sightings. i wonder if the risk of killing what may be the few remaining specimens is tickling their consciences, even a tiny bit.

    I wonder if I might have to sharpen my pick axe and scythe and take up arms to stop this madness… anyone else feel the same way?

    Another question, would the areas that they are taking Tasmanian Devils from to put in captivity in so called “safe places” (which double as tourist attractions) be the very same areas that they are laying fox baits and planting blue gums and/or poppies?.... dots, connecting to dots, connecting to dots.

    Posted by nerreman  on  14/09/09  at  12:29 AM
  466. Re #465 (12:29 AM), the areas where devils are being taken from are areas where the disease is not yet close to hitting, which are in the far west of the state.  These are also areas without fox records and areas with relatively few plantations, so I doubt that your dots connect to anything.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  14/09/09  at  12:36 PM
  467. Kevin, please tell us where these plantation free areas are. I flew low over the west of the state and saw thousands of hectares of plantations.
    There were even plantations in the catchment for the Meander dam.

    Posted by David Leigh  on  14/09/09  at  06:43 PM
  468. The catchment for the Meander dam is hardly that far west; DFTD is probably there already. 

    I don’t know exactly where the western devils used for captive populations have come from but they would be well west of the disease front, which in practice means the west coast and very far NW - I know that captures have been made from several areas there to ensure genetic diversity.  Excluding parts of the far north-west, there is not much plantation near the west coast and what there is is mostly softwood.

    There have been some captures of devils from the few eastern populations that appear to be disease-free (Southport, Narawntapu) as well.

    I am just not sure what nerreman is trying to suggest, especially as the proportion of the devil population that’s been captured is so tiny.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  15/09/09  at  02:14 PM
  469. David Leigh, what’s so significant about “There were even plantations in the catchment for the Meander dam.” Guess which was there first by over 30 years?

    Posted by slaked lime  on  15/09/09  at  05:56 PM
  470. Kevin, there were plantations (blue gum) stretching as far as the eye could see when I flew over. Admittedly it was not on the coast, but then coastal regions seldom have plantations.
    Slaked Lime, you miss the point… Where there are plantations there is spraying. If the plantation is on a water catchment those chemicals end up in the water. if, as was the intention, that water is used for farming, those chemicals end up in the food chain. If the plantations were there 30 years before the dam, why was approval for the resource given? If chemical invasion of the water supply and our food is not bad enough, blue gums are water tubes and suck up every drop sent their way. Plantations should never be on a water catchment, regardless of which was there first.
    Unfortunately, it seems to be standard practice in Tasmania.

    Posted by David Leigh  on  17/09/09  at  11:40 PM
  471. Nerreman   No.465
    Found out the mongrels are destroying an area of pristine forest at the source of the Star of Peace , which will eventually come out through the back of the Mutual and on to the south /west side of Derby.
    Huge trees being dragged out, so no wonder they have sighted this mythical fox.. saves time to destroy all the wildlife before logging maybe??
    There is already a well established highway to hasten the trees to the chipper…
    Some of the trucks are using the Paris Dam road, .
    I’m sure all will be apparent before too long

    Posted by Freddi Mazoudier  on  21/09/09  at  09:03 PM
  472. I see the charlatans and snake-oil salesmen are still telling fibs…when will they get it through their thick heads that the alleged importation and release of foxes in the 1990’s did not happen.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  22/11/09  at  08:22 AM
  473. Still no foxy bodies.. as I predicted back in September, I have more chooks running around and their numbers so not decrease, if there were foxes anywhere in the district, I would expect some carnage to be apparent
    The novelty of keeping poultry is on the rise here in Derby, most of my neighbours have a few hens clucking about in the garden, Ducks and Geese are seen strutting about on the river bank, and still no fatalities..Strange especially for an area supposedly inhabited by the elusive Reynard. F.M.

    Posted by Freddi Mazoudier  on  22/11/09  at  10:00 PM
  474. Hey David what are bits of a fox worth?
    C’mon Davo.
    I’ve got some skulls, pelts, brushes, a few stuffed foxes and some turds…make me an offer.
    Now be fair…one fox found on Glen Esk Road was worth 56 million dollars, a few skungy old tirds have been worth about ten million, and before that a few sightings were worth another 10 million.
    Oh and I forgot grandmas stole…how much?

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  16/02/10  at  04:39 PM
  475. Maybe you don’t have to use bait to kill foxes. All animals have to drink the water.

    Posted by Cameron  on  15/03/10  at  06:19 PM
  476. #475 Cameron, you may have a future ahead of you in Industry.

    TT, why the expiration of the reward offer so soon?

    Posted by David Alford  on  15/03/10  at  09:57 PM
  477. David Alford [comment #476], the Reward will be renewed if required after 30 June 2010.

    The Minister for Foxes has assured his parliamentary colleagues and the Tasmanian people that Tasmanian borders are now fox-proof… thanks to the DPIPWE Biosecurity and Quarantine Inspection services.

    Of course the forensic investigation of a shot fox is everything here. It should be pointed out that EVERY incident involving the recovery of a dead fox in Tasmania since 2001 has been clearly demonstrated to be fabricated hoaxes. Our data to three inquiries has never been rebutted.

    That is the issue… authentic Tasmanian foxes, yet fox shit materialises across the State (from Boat Harbour to Gladstone, from Quoiba to Cygnet)

    GO FOR IT honest, true blue,Tasmanian hunters, maybe one of you can find a real fox where the Government’s fox-dogs only find their scats.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  16/03/10  at  08:51 AM
  478. As it seems that a new style Gunns is to rise from the ashes of John Gay’s kingdom, with no more native forest logging ??  will it be also the demise of the Fox Eradication Force ???

    One might think it will!, as one can assume there will no need for the wholesale destruction of our wildlife,to protect those toxic seedlings, and therefore, no need to seed the land with 1080 as this I feel was the only reason that the mythical fox was invented, was so that it was deemed OK to use this vile poison.Just a thought??  F.M.

    Posted by Freddi Mazoudier  on  17/03/10  at  06:51 PM
  479. Does that mean that if the Fox Taskforce continues, your assumptions are wrong and there is a real fox problem in Tasmania?

    Posted by Paulie  on  17/03/10  at  08:42 PM
  480. Give up Paulie, you lost the debate a long time a go.
    The weight of Public opinion is overwhelmingly against you…if in doubt check the anti letters in the papers every day.
    Nine anti fox task force letters I counted one week.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  18/03/10  at  04:11 AM
  481. Political foxes are more cunning than any Vulpes vulpes but even for them the day will come when they are caught red-handed.

    Patronage by powerful pollies and secretive cover ups - the hallmarks of how politics works in Tasmania - are the ‘back stories’ to so many of Tasmania’s unanswered mysteries. The skulduggery is always to invent a sensational and vaguely credible ‘front story’ to sell publicly and then suck on that teat for as long as you can.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  19/03/10  at  10:47 PM
  482. David Obendorf, let me suggest the rules be expanded to include an unambiguous photograph or video that can be verifiably proven to have been taken in Tasmania. For example, one might get a video sequence of a fox in a field with a known house in the background or one could leave the video on from the area of documentation to a nearby landmark so there is an unbroken line of evidence.

    A crystal clear photo with a specific, known landmark in the background (and proven not to have been manipulated) should also meet the test. Not all wildlife photos/videos are as doubtful as Thylacine photos/footage have proven to be.

    Mind you, I am far from being convinced that the fox is extant in Tassie, but on the other hand, I don’t think a fox reward should necessarily require a dead fox. Under strict conditions, certain photographic/video evidence should meet the test of proof beyond reasonable doubt of expert scrutiny.

    Posted by David Alford  on  20/03/10  at  06:39 AM
  483. David Alford thanks…I appreciate your input.
    Let me assure you anyone attempting to fake this fox recovery for a reward will be acting very foolishly, all the mechanisms are in place.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  20/03/10  at  09:00 AM
  484. Correct David Alford [comment #283] and thank you for your contribution.

    In the Joint Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee of Inquiry into the effectiveness & efficiency of the fox eradication program In Tasmania , it was disclosed during hearings’ testimony from DPIWE staff that up to 100 sensor cameras had been deployed at selected ‘hotspots’ to detect foxes in Tasmania.

    No cameras had produced an image of a fox. We understand those cameras have now been removed from these activities.

    Whether they still represent a critical tool in th FEP armoury of fox-evidence gathering is a moot point. It should be a ‘no-brainer’; of course they should!

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  21/03/10  at  01:04 PM
  485. In view of the vast armoury of Fox-Finding Gadgetry and Technology so employed, when will this gravy train of Fox-hunters admit defeat?
    Perhaps the actual reason it goes on is that they are so vainly accorded and accustomed with the luxuries abounding on their particular gravy train?
    Meanwhile, what is the status of this boatload of the accumulated gadgetry and so on, is there an inventory kept so that we can reconcile the equipment expenditure along with its secure location?
    I believe now is also a propitious time to conduct a stocktake via an external sourced auditor!
    After all, this band of Foxy people are known to possess complete integrity.
    Seems the only real answer to all the questions lays in ‘when the Federal Government pull the plug on funding this farago.’

    Posted by William Boeder  on  21/03/10  at  05:56 PM
  486. Yes, well it hasn’t been encouraging for sure. There have been reported Fox sightings in Launceston from time to time, but no doubt sensor cameras, telephoto photography, and camouflage stalking would be frowned upon - if allowed at all.

    Posted by David Alford  on  21/03/10  at  07:55 PM
  487. Ah yes William but the Minister for foxes has gone, the gatekeeper extraordinaire.
    Ten years of this nonsense… a brief but precise look at the events will show the minister for foxes has been the one to keep the lid on all of this.
    But now he’s gone, pity the person that will have to come in and keep all their fingers in the dyke.
    The mystical Tasmanian flying foxes…they don’t breed here but keep appearing every so often to keep the funding flow going, they only crap once in their lifetime, don’t leave any footprints or any other forensic clues.
    But they are here, all three inquiries have said so.
    It’s O.K to be poisoning domestic dogs and native wildlife, we need to get that fox.
    How do you people sleep at night?

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  21/03/10  at  08:09 PM
  488. As i have previously stated, i just spent several days in the victorian high country and returned with a car, and if i had wanted could have secreted a fox road kill (which i photographed)into the boot of the car and bought it home (such were the controls at Devonport when arriving) so you can believe me when i say that it would be bloody easy to transport a carcase.

    Posted by d.d.  on  22/03/10  at  12:11 AM
  489. Excusee #487 Mr Rist, has there not been more than a singular minister responsible for such opulent oversight of Foxes?
    I am of the opinion that it would require a conspiracy load of ministers, (my term for quantification of all the ministers involved,) to see that all these FEB employed personnel, including their equipment procurement officer, were funded with their appropriate payroll funds, particularly in the manner of this long term ever ongoing ‘will o’ the wisp’ Fox capturing band of brothers.
    Then we must consider the amazing array of scientific equipment and what this may consist of, eg: night vision goggles, trip cameras, specially cage fitted 4WD vehicles, entrapment devices, the number of high velocity rifles and the required ammunition, communications equipment, special uniforms, night lighting equipment, then there would have to exist a special office headquarters to co-ordinate all the incoming scats and phantom sightings, et al.
    My earlier post particularly referenced: the existence of a specific itemized inventory of all this vitally sourced equipment.
    I repeat, is their such as a purchases register or a listed itemized record or register, of all the equipment so necessarily purchased up until say, end of March 2010?
    Also, there must be a specified location to keep in store, also for the purposes of security ALL of this really good stuff, so to made available for urgent immediate access, also for annual auditing purposes?

    After all, such a high level government-funded Branch of this State government, will have its specified minister especially responsible, to report on the entirety of this wherewithal Fox Eradication Branch.
    Can somebody advise me as to the name of the responsible minister as so delegated, so that he/she can report to the parliament of this somewhat overlooked highly funded operation?
    The questions I raise here are fundamental to each and every government assigned department or branch of any and all responsible ministers.

    I would go further to suggest that all the records of the FEB are not of the status that require any level of secrecy, nor should the reports of this branch or agency be considered secure under any privacy of information laws.

    Again I stipulate, this specific date of 31st of March 2010.
    This annual report containing all the essential information as listed above, should be able to enable the appointed minister to offer its completed report, say within a period of 7 days, thus to update the people of Tasmania of the FEB performances to date and the expenditure so necessarily incurred?

    Posted by William Boeder  on  22/03/10  at  07:21 AM
  490. William comment # 489. My term “the minister for foxes” was really a term of endearment, dear old Lewy… he started all this after the police and ministerial briefing took place on the 20th June 2001. Much speculation had been shuffled around, the allegations of 19 fox cubs being imported and released…passed on to NPWS I might add after a conversation outside Allgoods in Hobart between a 4x4 vehicle owner with a dingo looking dog in the back of his ute and the brother of a NPWS employee.
    This was just what the doctor ordered with all the fox paranoia floating about, especially as a fox had allegedly escaped from a container at Agfest just a few weeks before and had been seen again crossing Illawarra road on the 15th of May 2001.
    This sighting was presented to Lewy as the “real deal” at the briefing of the 20th June 2001 because of the credibility of the person that had made the sighting.
    My goodness it was a busy time for foxes around the Longford area, within the space of just a few weeks we had sightings, allegations of cub imports, at least half a dozen senior detectives on the trail, hoax photos of foxes appearing in newspapers (famous Longford fox photo with the “shooters” faces covered) also a fox skin being mailed anonymously to the DPIWE at Prospect…goodness it was fox fever time.
    The minister for foxes had written to the Federal minister on the 23rd of August 2001 requesting funding to suppress this fox invasion and people were rushing about writing up threat abatement plans and looking at key threatening processess, rewards of $5,000 being placed in hunting magazines by unknown people for a dinky-di Tasmanian fox, these same advertisements were even placed in Melbourne gun shop windows (why on earth if you were chasing a Tasmanian fox?)................
    Then topping it all off we had the famous Symmons Plains fox shooting (the one with the endemic mouse in it) in September, allegedly shot but only discovered discovered some 11 days later… the aforementioned $5,000 reward was never to be paid.
    However William, to answer your question I shall endeavour to be a little more detailed and specific, so I shall list the ministers in the fox saga in chronological order from 2001, David Llewellyn, Bryan Green, Judy Jackson, Steven Kons and then back to David Llewellyn…my goodness the next minister will be in for a long briefing…........

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  22/03/10  at  02:44 PM
  491. Investigation of the ‘political foxes’ behind this protracted saga is a worthwhile endeavour.

    Steve Kons and Judy Jackson have both retired from parliament; both were bit-players in this David Llewellyn-initiated great fox hunt. Bryan Green took over as Minister for foxes and has been re-elected in Braddon; David Llewellyn is still in the cut up for the Labor seat in Lyons.

    Who will be the new Minister for foxes in Tasmania?

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  22/03/10  at  05:35 PM
  492. I see no good reason why the Federal government have not expressed concerns as to the ‘abject failure’ by each and every form of Fox apprehension or location force, squad, agency, branch, or whatsoever named, (as so tasked to prove the live existence of Foxes, even in just one Fox, resident to this State of Tasmania?

    Well may you ask this question, as the bulk of considerable Federal funding for each and every Fox related program has been sourced and provided in good faith by the Federal government, to this State government.

    To see the earlier reference here to Bryan Green MP, as being a minister involved with the FEB or whatever, (in his being part and parcel to the Fuzzy Foxy Frolics in Tasmania,) does not inspire any degree of fealty or bona fide confidences, toward the continuation of these Freely Funded Foxy Frolics, particularly if the funding is ever to be based on produced results.

    Posted by William Boeder  on  22/03/10  at  09:26 PM
  493. One only needs to check the Hansard of the 27th September 2001 to see what really is going
    on here.
    From Hansard:
    “It is an exceedingly unfortunate situation that we find ourselves in where it would appear that some irresponsible members of the Tasmanian community have introduced young foxes into Tasmania”.
    Absolute bollocks minister…your own police department told you two months before (you were DPIWE and Police minister at the time) that there was not one ounce of truth in these allegations.
    Then we have the Hansard of the 4th June 2002 and The Mercury the next day under the heading of Fox Plot…“we know who brought them in but we cannot charge them due to the statute of limitations has expired”.
    Again absolute bollocks…I have in my possession a letter from acting commissioner Lupo Prins on a Tasmania Police letter head dated the 20th June 2003 that states “regardless of the statute of limitations Tasmania Police does not have any evidence to prosecute any individuals with the importation of foxes into the state of Tasmania”. Between July 2001 and September 2001 we have the Longford fox/photo/mailed skin and the Symmons Plains fox “shooting” both part of an elaborate scheme to claim the previously mentioned $5,000 reward that was posted but never paid.
    Both incidents were connected.
    To be continued…......

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  23/03/10  at  08:39 AM
  494. Well David our $5000 looks pretty safe…one thing that it does prove though is that those people that think foxes are here in any sort of numbers really don’t know anything about foxes.
    They seem to be as painfully ignorant as the FEB seem to be incompetent.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  16/05/10  at  02:29 PM
  495. David I am wondering if some of the learned “foxes are everywhere” people may be able to offer a sensible, plausible explanation why our joint $5,000.00 reward HASN’T BEEN CLAIMED…I am genuinely interested in their comments.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  11/06/10  at  08:57 AM
  496. Re #495, I can think of a couple of factors other than the one you might want to believe.  The first is that the reward conditions are actually very stringent.  This is appropriate if the purpose of the reward is to try to draw a conclusion of absolute proof from a single specimen, and I do disagree with those who have suggested that a photo should be sufficient, but it does make it far less likely that someone involved in a fox kill will be in a position to claim the reward.  The stringency of the conditions also means that any drawing of conclusions about the absence of foxes from the unclaimed status of the reward is unjustified.

    The second is that the general trend of loopiness, aggro and tinfoil-hat style conspiracy theorising so evident from several posters disputing the presence of foxes in Tasmania on this site is such that some readers may figure the forces offering the reward are more than a little bit strange and therefore might doubt that the reward would be paid without complications even if they fronted up for it.  I’m not saying such suspicions would be justified, but it would not be surprising if they existed in the circumstances.

    Additionally, based on my own experience with Dr Obendorf’s false public statements about my own scientific research, and his failure to publicly retract same despite numerous requests over many years (as documented on this site before), he is not currently a person I would be providing with a politically contentious specimen, and I would not be advising others to provide him with one either, not even for a possible $5000.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  11/06/10  at  11:58 AM
  497. That is ridiculous Kevin…
    I know professionals that are out there every night spotlight shooting in prime fox habitat, not one of them has seen a fox, let alone shot one.
    The reason no-one has come up with a Tasmanian fox recovered in Tasmania is simply because there isn’t one to come up with.
    I know of people that have been searching very, very hard, day after day, night after night and nothing that even remotely resembles a fox, other than a lot of ginger cats.
    At least Obendorf and I have put our money where our mouth is…talk is cheap.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  11/06/10  at  02:20 PM
  498. And furthermore Mr Bonham do not insult Dr. Obendorf and I by inferring the reward will not be paid.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  11/06/10  at  02:24 PM
  499. On my recent trip to the victorian high country i came across several fox road kill which disputes ealier posters claiming that they seldom get hit by cars.
      The last one was whilst returning to Tassie !  and had i harboured criminal tendencies i could have secreted the still warm corpse in the boot of my car and returned with it unopposed as the boot was not even opened ! let alone inspected ! after which i could have had somone else claim to have found it on the side of the road ! any where in the state ! 
      Now far be it for me to put idea’s into peoples heads , but in reality that’s how bloody easy it would be , such is the slackness of inspections at the ferry

    Posted by d.d.  on  11/06/10  at  04:38 PM
  500. Don on a recent trip to the mainland I counted thirteen dead roadkill red foxes between the Melbourne ferry terminal and the NSW border.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  11/06/10  at  07:07 PM
  501. Ms Rist, you would do yourself a favour if you actually read what was put in front of you.  You accuse me of inferring that the reward would not be paid.  I explicitly spelled out that I was not saying that, just that if there was suspicion in the minds of some readers it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest.

    As for your professionals, I wonder how many of them carry a digicam around just in case they happen to shoot a fox?  And even if they did shoot a fox out in the middle of nowhere, how many would be in a position to remain with the fox where it was killed and get Dr O on the phone?

    I often put my money where my mouth is on this site, for instance by offering to bet on election outcomes where people are making silly assertions, or by offering money to anyone who can substantiate some false claim or other being made about me.  In this case it’s a bit pointless since I could offer all the rewards I like for proof that there are no foxes in Tasmania and such rewards would never be claimed.  A negative, after all, cannot be proven.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  11/06/10  at  08:18 PM
  502. If any one has been found to have brought foxes/carcasses to Tasmania they should be charged under the Quarantine Act, immediately.  The longer this ruse drags on the more it becomes a game for fools.
    People will start bringing in foxes dead or alive for a dare or otherwise.

    Posted by JohnWade  on  12/06/10  at  06:08 AM
  503. Kevin ...  stay out of the fox reward, your input is of no value and of no-one’s concern at all.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  12/06/10  at  10:01 AM
  504. John #  502. Actually prior to the quarantine regulations being quietly changed in 2003 it was not illegal to bring in dead foxes or parts thereof.
    PROVIDING there wasn’t any fruit/vegetable matter or intact liver/heart/lungs etc.
    However people are still bringing in fox skins etc. even today.
    The famous Glen Esk Road fox was brought in and dumped somewhere else at first but then moved and dumped on Glen Esk Road to divert attention from the original property.
    All the people involved are known, including the anonymous driver that was supposed to have rang up and said it was I who ran over the fox (the already dead fox that had just been moved).

    The fox task force have been bringing in fox scats beginning in late 2007, but that is another matter which is under close scrutiny by other parties at the moment.

    I actually brought in three fox carcasses in June 2003 and showed them to Minister Green when he was visiting my home and explained how easy it was to bring them in…this made the Hansard of the Parliament.
    This caused a bit of a furore as the head of biosecurity at the DPIPWE Mr Alex Schaap turned up the same day.
    Bryan Green had a bit of fun with Alex by questioning him how efficient the fox dogs were that they had just spent thirty five thousand dollars on training them for fox scent and then showed him the three fox carcasses laying in my game fridge and having great delight in telling him that they came over on the Spirit of Tasmania and one of the detector dogs had almost sat on the bag containing the foxes and ice… the dog being completely oblivious to the dead foxes.
    I will add there was nothing illegal about what I had done at that precise time however the quarantine regulations changed very quickly after that…..........

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  12/06/10  at  10:33 AM
  505. (501)   
        “As for your professionals, I wonder how many of them carry a digicam around just in case they happen to shoot a fox?  And even if they did shoot a fox out in the middle of nowhere, how many would be in a position to remain with the fox where it was killed and get Dr O on the phone?”
    In Tasmania one is never more than an hour or so from anywhwere so to say if anyone shooting a fox could not quickly have it examined is (wrong), most especially when there is $5000 involved.


    Posted by d.d.  on  12/06/10  at  12:38 PM
  506. They haven’t, they won’t, and they can’t shoot a Tasmanian fox, ‘cause you simply can’t shoot what ain’t there.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  12/06/10  at  08:09 PM
  507. Re: #506. When previously asked as to whether you believe foxes are in Tasmania,  you replied that you didn’t know.

    Your latest response indicates that you are now absolutely certain that there are no foxes in Tasmania.

    Posted by Paulie  on  13/06/10  at  08:08 AM
  508. “Paulie” # 507. Whilst I do not usually go to this much trouble to answer persons that do not have the common courtesy to use their real name I will however offer the following:
    My personal position is that I don’t know…but…...............

    Based on the balance of probabilities with the burden of proof on the fox people to provide any evidence of their own of a live fox in Tasmania it should now be automatically accepted after nine years that there are no foxes here.

    Before we enter the discussion of the “easily transportable fox items” that have thus far been used as evidence let us discuss what hasn’t been provided;
    No foxes shot, trapped, or photographed in the Island state in the last nine years.
    No response to numerous cash rewards offered over the last nine years for a fox recovered in Tasmania.
    “Paulie” how much more time do you need to be convinced…another nine years, eighteen pehaps?
    “Paulie’ as there has been not one piece of evidence of foxes breeding i.e. no cubs, no dens, no audible vocalisation of breeding foxes, how would you suggest the foxes are being constantly re-stocked?
    Finally before you produce the now seriously discredited scat theory it has been proven beyond all doubt that fox scats have been imported and planted…more to follow.
    Just this morning I was contacted by a farmer in the Stowport/Natone area that advised me that the FEP people had been to his property and advised him that they had planted two fox scats on his property… “but please don’t tell anyone, we are going to send the dog people in a couple of days and are going to test whether they find the fox scats or not”.
    Why? Couldn’t they simply tell the dog people that they have put scats on that property and can you find them…it sounds that senior management are even being deceitful with their own people.
    A bit like the Generals and Majors not sharing their plans with the rank and file soldiers.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  13/06/10  at  04:04 PM
  509. Ian, your #503 is a vacuous personal attack, completely bereft of substance, intelligence or evidence.  As such it is of no value and of no-one’s concern at all - except perhaps for moderation should you continue in a similar manner.

    I take your response as a forfeit on all points debated in #501.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  13/06/10  at  04:55 PM
  510. I do not forfeit anything to you Mr Bonham.

    I have offered open face to face debates with you on the Tasmanian fox issue before and you have declined…

    My offer of an open face to face debate continues, with or without the media at any venue of your choosing.

    Ian Rist

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  14/06/10  at  07:19 PM
  511. Re # 508. “Paulie” can I please have an answer?

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  14/06/10  at  07:41 PM
  512. Kevin in an open face to face debate on the Tasmanian fox issue neither one of us would have the ready access to Google which we both have on this delayed forum…it would come down to pure knowledge of the topic.
    I look forward to you naming a venue.
    Ian Rist

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  14/06/10  at  07:50 PM
  513. Ian Rist is again being careless (or forgetful) with the truth in #510 and #512.  He claims that he offered me “an open face to face debate” and that I “declined”.

    Ian’s claim is false.  I did not decline; I conditionally accepted as follows:

    Having read your all-over-the-place testimony at PAC I would be more than happy to face you in a public debate concerning the question “Are foxes likely to be present in Tasmania?”, organised by a neutral body (if one was interested) at a mutually convenient location.  However, while I expect I would have few if any problems in such a debate, the debate would be far more useful and marketable to the public if the “yes” case was handled directly by a zoologist who is actively involved in the issue - how about you try challenging some of those?  Given that neither of us is a relevant authority on foxes, a debate between us would probably only be of interest to a handful of partisans following our exchanges on TT.

    That said, I am more than happy to call your bluff and thus discredit your pathetic stereotype of me as hiding behind a computer keyboard.  Ian, I’ve singlehandedly taken on crowds of hundreds of people face-to-face on political issues and I revel in debate-type situations.  Like Stevenson you should try researching your target before jumping to hopeful conclusions!


    That is, I am happy to participate in the debate but have no interest in organising it (including arranging a venue) as I believe organising it would be a waste of my time.  Should a neutral organisation wish to organise it I would be happy to participate at whatever venue that organisation considered suitable and I considered sufficiently safe from a nutcase element that this issue unfortunately appears to serve as a minor magnet for.

    The quoted response above was a mere eleven months ago so there is really no excuse for Ian forgetting or misrepresenting it. 

    And that is one of the good things about online debate with access to Google and search engines, Ian.  People like you cannot get away with misrepresenting situations when the facts are available on the public record and can readily be checked at any time.  It makes me wonder why you would want to hold a debate that lacked access to such an excellent means of obtaining relevant information.  :)

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  14/06/10  at  08:23 PM
  514. You evade the question Bonham.
    Either you will meet me in an open face to face debate or you will not?

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  15/06/10  at  09:07 AM
  515. Rist, I am not evading the question at all and your claim that I am shows fundamentally cluelessness about the common process of negotiating terms for debates.  I have indicated that I accept your offer subject to:

    1. The debate being organised by an appropriate neutral organisation. 
    2. The venue arranged by that organisation being to my satisfaction.

    As to whether I will meet you in such a debate or not I cannot say; that depends on whether there is a neutral organisation willing to run it. 

    If you are really so insistent that this debate takes place then you, as the proponent, will find such an organisation to run it and they will let me know.  If not then obviously you weren’t serious.  Get real here Ian, you can’t expect the person you are challenging to do the organisational work for you.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  15/06/10  at  02:26 PM
  516. Last say ...O.K. I will arrange a neutral venue in Hobart where you have ready access.
    I will arrange a prominent lawyer or politician to organise the venue.
    Do you want ABC media ?
    I am sure ABC’s Lou Garnier would be eager for such a debate.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  15/06/10  at  08:58 PM
  517. One thing is for sure David, our reward will only pay on a result…not like this phoney Government 1080 poisoning program that has cost millions of dollars for what can only be regarded as an absolute failure.
    Well it has to be a failure… they are claiming there are foxes across the width and breadth of Tasmania.
    They cannot have it both ways.
    They are obviously happy to spend millions of dollars of taxpayer’s money to the middle men without any proof of one single result.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  18/06/10  at  08:31 PM
  518. I see the purveyors of fine poisons are at it again.  The more fox bounties that are paid out the less foxes there are to poison.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  18/06/10  at  10:31 PM
  519. I missed #516 when originally posted.  I am not sure “a prominent lawyer or politician” really fits my criteria of “a neutral organisation” (it depends which lawyer or politician, surely!) but anyway, if it comes to anything meeting my requirements, we shall see and I shall look forward to it!

    In furtherance of my comment in #501 that I often put my money where my mouth is on this site, on another thread I have just offered a bet on the future of the Tasmanian Devil and loaded the odds 50-1 against my own position to see if I can entice any suckers.  :)

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  21/06/10  at  02:56 AM
  520. O.K Kevin you arrange the time and the venue, I am sure I will be able to be there.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  21/06/10  at  03:04 PM
  521. Ian just doesn’t get it.  I have said many, many times that the venue needs to be organised by a neutral organisation and I am not going to put in any effort apart from preparing and turning up - because I don’t think it is worth my while putting effort into organising something that I don’t think there will be any public interest in. 

    I may as well therefore say that the time is 4:30 am tomorrow and the venue is the moon, since Ian is the one so keen on having this debate and so confident it would be of interest, but he is unwilling to demonstrate that by finding a neutral organisation to run it.  Maybe NASA might be interested?

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  22/06/10  at  12:49 AM
  522. You are squibbing Kevin…you just don’t want to debate the fox issue do you?
    I offered to organise a debate myself at a venue and time suitable for you…that wasn’t suitable for you.  I then offered an independent lawyer or politician to organise a debate…that still wasn’t suitable.
    Finally I offered for you to set it up on your terms…you still rejected it even those terms.
    You are squibbing Kevin, you are simply afraid to engage in an open face to face debate and everyone knows it.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  22/06/10  at  09:08 AM
  523. Ian, I couldn’t care less whether I debate the issue verbally or not.  You are the one who is so keen on a public debate, and I have made my conditions on this very clear. If there is not sufficient public interest for you to find a neutral organisation willing to run the debate then that is your problem and indicates your debate is not worth having and your challenge is a waste of my time.

    Furthermore in #522 you misrepresent my previous comments again.  I did not outright reject your suggestion of “an independent lawyer or politician” to organise the debate; I said “it depends on which lawyer or politician”.  Really I would prefer the debate be run by an organisation but if you name specific lawyers or politicians who have agreed to organise and supply proof that they have agreed I shall consider it.  However, if you name some “lawyer” I have never heard of I will of course say no, because I cannot know that they are neutral!

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  22/06/10  at  03:42 PM
  524. Kevin you are as evasive as an eel in a bucket of GTX oil.
    Please do not waste any more of my time, you are clearly afraid to debate the fox issue…

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  22/06/10  at  04:36 PM
  525. Dear Mr Rist,

    Your contriubtion to this thread is drifting off in the direction of tedious town. While Mr Bonham has been, at times, a notable denizen of this municipality, you are shaping as a leading citizen for many moons to come. As the injured party Mr Bonham should rightfully have the luxury of dictating the terms of debate. Naught of which he has requested is beyond the pale of reasonable. It behooves yourself, therefore, to accede to the requests or retreat from the arena before you lose all semblance of credibilty. Sadly, this thread has already suffered from the sniping between the twixt of you, and it would probably be best if it was ended now.


    Posted by Brendan Harris  on  22/06/10  at  08:05 PM
  526. Ian (#524) I’ve made my conditions perfectly clear and if you want to waste your own time failing to abide by them then that’s up to you.  In the time it has taken you to continue to obfuscate, distort and miss the point about this proposed debate of yours and my response to it I reckon you could have looked up and rung up at least five organisations that might have chaired it if there was any actual interest.  Meet my conditions and you will see I don’t have the slightest fear of debating you on this matter - or for that matter anyone else on any matter I care in the slightest about.

    Now Ian, it is time to put a stop to your nonsense about my attitudes to this debate.  To do this, I am making it clear that if you make any further public comments about the proposed debate with me that do not contain constructive progress towards its conduct by a neutral organisation, or any further public personal criticisms of me based on the debate issue, then I will withdraw my conditional acceptance of your debate challenge, on the grounds that your uncivil and unconstructive attitude to the matter renders you not worth the bother.  So if you want your debate you must stop the trash-talking and make a constructive attempt to meet my conditions now, otherwise you have missed your chance forever.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  22/06/10  at  08:52 PM
  527. Mr Harris I have half the money up for this fox reward and will comment accordingly…who are you anyway?
    Me retreat to the likes of Bonham? You can’t be serious…are you?

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  22/06/10  at  09:37 PM
  528. The Fox Reward has been running for a four year period now…you haven’t provided a fox, and we have still got our money.

    It would appear based on the balance of probabilities anyone that still believes there are foxes established in Tasmania is either:
    (a) delusional
    (b) a fool
    (c) has a financial interest in promoting the perception there are foxes in Tasmania.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  23/06/10  at  08:31 AM
  529. (d) a better understanding, than you, of the difficulties associated with finding animals existing at extremely low population densities.

    Posted by Paulie  on  23/06/10  at  06:26 PM
  530. Welcome back Paulie…do you intend to answer some of my previous questions?

    If only they could just find one fox Paulie then some of us not on the gravy train may be a little reassured.

    It is a habit of yours to just stick your head up every now and then above the trench and snipe when it suits you and then duck for cover again.

    Paulie I will match my professional hunting skills against yours any day you want to put your hand up, but even I cannot find what isn’t there.
    Finally it sounds a bit to me like you come into category (b).

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  23/06/10  at  10:08 PM
  531. If you think that a professional hunter (no matter how good you are) has the best chance of finding an animal that exists at very low densities, then you are showing your complete lack of understanding of traditional predator-prey theory and could be considered yourself as falling under both category (a) and (b).

    Sounds to me like you’re saying that just because you haven’t seen one, they don’t exist.

    Finally please arrange this debate with KB. Try and get it televised so I can view it. It should be interesting.

    Keep up the good work.

    Posted by Paulie  on  24/06/10  at  08:00 AM
  532. Paulie low densities is spot on…non-existent in fact.
    Time is on my side though…the longer it goes on with no fox the harder it gets and the longer the piece of rope gets, the more it hurts when it stops.
    Paulie based on your theory we should also have a coyote or jackal task force…just in case.
    Finally Paulie in Asia over a range sixty times the size of Tasmania wildlife biologists have not had difficulty photographing one of the worlds rarest animals the Snow Leopard (Uncia uncia) from just a few cameras set on mountain trails in some of the most inhospitable land on the planet, yet with up to one hundred infra red movement activated cameras deployed across Tasmania not one photo of a single fox in ten years….C’mon Paulie work it out for yourself.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  24/06/10  at  10:48 AM
  533. I can’t believe that this thread has reached such amazing lengths, over an animal that does not inhabit this island…

    It would seem as there has developed a sort of pistols at dawn dual situation between contributors of this Fox thread ??

    When and where.. I would love to be there to witness this exhibition F.M.

    Posted by Freddi Mazoudier  on  24/06/10  at  12:40 PM
  534. Are Freddie # 533. Pistols at dawn…now there is my speciality.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  24/06/10  at  01:41 PM
  535. Re:532 “Finally Paulie in Asia over a range sixty times the size of Tasmania wildlife biologists have not had difficulty photographing one of the worlds rarest animals the Snow Leopard (Uncia uncia) from just a few cameras set on mountain trails in some of the most inhospitable land on the planet”

    The latest estimates are that there are between 4500 and 7300 snow leopards in Asia. Couple this with the fact that they are a large animal that are known to mainly use the sparse mountain trails, and it is plain to see why cameras were successful - even if only marginally.

    You are comparing apples with oranges.

    Posted by Paulie  on  25/06/10  at  07:43 AM
  536. But Paulie (he who won’t answer my questions)...your people that you constantly apologise for all the time haven’t been able to photograph one fox in Tasmania in ten years with 103 cameras.
    That can only have one conclusion,  either the FFTF now the FEP are painfully incompetent or there are no foxes here.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  25/06/10  at  11:56 AM
  537. how much more has been spent on chasing reynard the fox since mckim & his missus joined the labor ministry.

    where is priorities -

    build the gordon-below-franklin to get hydro prices down and stop cooking the victorians with greenhouse gases by buying latrobe valley brown coal generated power.

    now more wind mills are proposed - what is the life of a wedge tail eagle worth - what is the cost of wind power per dead eagle to date.

    Posted by mike seabrook  on  25/06/10  at  12:53 PM
  538. I witnessed today the most pathetic example of a Minister of the Crown covering for a bunch of ................
    Surely the Minister could not be so blind, or is he in a Government that is simply in too deep ???

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  01/07/10  at  07:41 PM
  539. I wonder if comment # 23 and # 24 on this site dated the 1/9/2006 would still be endorsed?

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  04/07/10  at  12:07 PM
  540. In #526 I wrote:

    “To do this, I am making it clear that if you make any further public comments about the proposed debate with me that do not contain constructive progress towards its conduct by a neutral organisation, or any further public personal criticisms of me based on the debate issue, then I will withdraw my conditional acceptance of your debate challenge, on the grounds that your uncivil and unconstructive attitude to the matter renders you not worth the bother. “

    Ian Rist has violated this condition by posting more useless silly nonsense on this matter in #9 of

    I did conditionally accept Rist’s invitation, as shown above, but he has persistently shown no interest in meeting my conditions, which were very modest.  He has furthermore continued to engage in unconstructive and fallacious personal attacks despite being warned that the debate would be off if this occurred.  The debate is therefore cancelled as Ian Rist has forfeited the right to participate.  If any other fox sceptics would be interested in debating me under the same conditions I would be very pleased to hear from them.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  05/07/10  at  05:57 PM
  541. You won’t debate me because you couldn’t debate me Kevvy.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  05/07/10  at  09:44 PM
  542. Terry, do stop being silly.  You had your chance to meet my completely reasonable conditions but chose instead to muck around, misconstrue my comments and throw stupid insults in connection with your challenge.  Although it was your idea you basically wanted me to do the work and arrange the venue (arranging venues is actually quite a tedious business, I do a fair amount of it from time to time as it happens). 

    I will not necessarily respond to any further posts from Ian Rist about the matter of his less than halfhearted challenge to debate me (especially not if they are like #541) but readers can safely assume all comments he makes on that matter to be utterly worthless.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  12/07/10  at  10:43 PM
  543. Your comments are all yaffle Kevin.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  13/07/10  at  08:46 AM
  544. Ian, I’m not too familiar with your terminology there, but apparently “yaffle” is the laughing call of the green woodpecker (Picus viridis).  Indeed, I laugh in your direction.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  13/07/10  at  01:41 PM
  545. Kevin Bonham!  ... you havent changed since we were in uni.

    Posted by nigel harris  on  29/10/10  at  03:11 PM
  546. Ian Rist and Kevin Bonham, the two fox heavyweights of the never ending debate. I have only just discovered this now emerging 6 content boxset, which ultimately will end up being a collectors piece, and talking point,at some stage down the track.However what about some names for the mediator,facilitator ,for this debate of the century.Would retired Michael Kirby be to your liking,or someone with a more local leaning like Paul Lennon be more appealing?Maybe we could get some cultural grant funding to get it up and running? Michael Swanton.

    Posted by Michael Swanton  on  22/01/11  at  03:05 PM
  547. Yes Michael and I know I’m backing a winner.

    Posted by Ian Rist  on  22/01/11  at  05:05 PM
  548. Michael. Another for your perusal. .

    Posted by J A Stevenson  on  22/01/11  at  07:14 PM
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