5 February 2012 1 of 6


ERAULO, ERMERA DISTRICT, TIMOR-LESTE

 


TIMOR-LESTE REPTILE & AMPHIBIAN SURVEY
PHASE VI: THE MELEOTEGI HAS A LOUDER VOICE

One of our most productive locations on the island of Timor has been the Meleotegi River near the St Bakhita Mission, Eraulo, Ermera District, about an hour's drive south of Dili. This is the only location where we have found the Timor river frog (Limnonectes timorensis) and the Timor treefrog (Litoria everetti) and it is here we have collected a species of snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus sp.nov.) that is likely to be the first new species we describe from this amazing country. And Cryptoblepharus is not the only skink found here.

The drive to "Bakhita" might not be a long one but it requires a great deal of concentration. The road is winding and potholed, and strewn with fallen trees, subsidence (both from above, depositing piles of earth and rocks on the road, and to below, depositing the road into the valley) and vehicles ranging from road-blocking trucks (often parked with a wheel-less axle resting on a log) to little motorcycles that appear and buzz around like angry bees trying to be the first to sacrifice themselves beneath our wheels. The drive this time was especially interesting because heavy rain had caused more tree and rock falls and turned much of the muddy road to soft toffee or lagoons of coffee of unknown depth. Care was required but Hinrich and I got our flock to "Bakhita" safely, with a stop enroute in the bustling town of Gleno.

The team break in Gleno
St Bakhita's from Eraulo, mission elevated on right, clinic on left on lower ground St Josefina Bakhita,
the Ethiopian saint for whom the mission is named

 


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