28 June 2013 1 of 3

TIMOR-LESTE (Lake Maubara, Liquiça District)



Hinrich was recovering steadily, his platelet counts were going up again, but it was too soon for him to be contemplating fieldwork or driving, so on the 28th everyone piled into my Troopie again and we went west to Liquiça District in search of more toads, for the stomach content analysis sub-project, and any other herps we could find. We decided to drive to Lake Maubara, a haunting lake with a petrified dead forest around its fringes, collect there and then find two other suitable and comparable locations on the way back to Dili.

The haunting but beautiful Lake Maubara The German team seaching for toads

At Lake Maubara I split the group into two teams, the Americans (Jay, Kevin, Julia and Claudia) and the Germans (Sven, Britta, Franziska and Laca - an honorary German for the day) and set them to find toads. The German team found nine, the Americans found three but one of their's was the largest Asian black-spined toad we have seen in Timor-Leste, a female measuring 132mm which they christened "Big Bertha".

Heading back towards Dili, our next location was at Raeme on an old road left after a new causeway road had been constructed. We searched in the coastal palm scrub but found only a single toad, possibly due to the salinity of the habitat. We also found several Timor flying lizards (Draco timoriensis) in the trees.

The old road on the seaward side of the new causeway Coastal palm scrub habitat


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