TIMOR-LESTE REPTILE & AMPHIBIAN SURVEY
PHASE VI: THE FLIGHT TO MALAYSIA
I caught my Emirates flight from Birmingham, as usual, the major part of the team coming from the United States. However, this time I met up with budding German herpetologist Sven Mecke in Dubai. He was flying in from Frankfurt to join the team as a specialist in the skink genera Sphenomorphus and Eremiascincus.
We then caught the same flight to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and a taxi to the hotel to link up with the Californian members of the team from Victor Valley College: project leader Hinrich Kaiser, research assistant Caitlin Sanchez, who participated in all 5 previous phases; Scott Heacox (4), David Taylor (3), and six new students (Zach Brown, Melissa Carrillo, Stephanie Hughes, Aaren Marsh, Gloria Morales, and Justin Rader) - this was to be a big team.
The American part of the team had arrived some hours before us and been out visiting two key sights of KL, the Thean Hon Temple and the Petronas Towers.
After a meet and greet and a briefing, at which our Herp Cards, an identification and species recording technique for use in Timorese villages, was unveiled, we had planned to visit a local restaurant but monsoon rains put paid to that and we ate in the hotel restaurant before turning in - a full day was planned for the morrow.