unclassified, and extremely remote, species …

The Kimberley and adjacent regions have many remote inaccessible areas, which means that much of the flora and fauna is unclassified. Geoff Vivian reports: Remote Kimberley teeming with unclassified life.

I have heard many strange frog calls on field trips myself, but they are seriously hard to find. Many are just the size of a fingernail. Those Kings Park Botanists are amazing, and lucky guys, often being dropped into the toughest spots by helicopter.

The chattering rock frog Litoria staccato was found near Kununurra and named for its distinctive call. The chattering rock frog Litoria staccato was found near Kununurra and named for its distinctive call. P Doughty/WA Museum

A WA Museum herpetologist has described several ‘new’ Kimberley frog species, mostly collected during field trips with Kings Park botanists Matt and Russell Barrett.

WA Museum’s Paul Doughty says much of the Kimberley is not easily accessible so it has a wealth of undescribed species, but they need to schedule collecting trips during the wet season.

“The place is just alive with frogs—for a ‘frogger’ it’s almost sad to go in the dry season because there’s just no action,” he says.

As the north-west Kimberley has no all-weather roads, they routinely arrive in a helicopter piloted by amateur naturalist Butch Maher.

Dr Doughty says his team found five of the species in the Prince Regent National Park and the Mitchell Plateau area (north-west Kimberley) and one southern Kimberley species near Fitzroy Crossing.

He says the main field equipment is a head torch, a pair of hands and a digital recorder for capturing frog calls.

“Anyone can catch the frogs,” he says.

“The hard thing is to get an excellent recording, if it’s a male, associated with that frog.

“That can be a bit time consuming and a bit fussy with the microphones and all the cables running through mud.”

Herpetologist Paul Doughty often travels to the remote north-west Kimberley for collecting expeditions. Image: P Doughty/WA Museum

He says once a frog’s call is successfully recorded they capture it for a voucher specimen, and he uses a small portable camera to photograph frogs in the field.

“When we get them back into the lab we’ll get some nice photographs with a high-quality mini studio setup, so that people can really see what they’re like.

“We take a tissue sample that we can then analyse the genetics for, so we can look at how distinctive these populations are.”

They then closely observe the specimens’ morphology, asking how they differ from species already described.

New species from the north-west Kimberley are:

• The chattering rock frog Litoria staccato, found near Kununurra and named for its distinctive call.

• The Kimberley rock hole frog Litoria aurifera, which has distinctive gold-flecked tadpoles first collected by Kings Park botanists Matt and Russell Barrett.

• The Kimberley rocket frog Litoria axillaris.

• Crinia fimbriata that doesn’t seem to have any close relatives, although the genus occurs across Australia.

• The tiny toadlet Uperoleia micra collected at Mornington Station.

• They also described a little toadlet Uperoleia stridera from the Fitzroy Valley.

Dr Doughty also plays a key role in maintaining the Kimberley field guide, which was last revised in 2009. 

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money, money, money … and millionaire believers

It was never about the climate, but the money for redistribution. The climate change money machine

Al Gore and all that:

I’m not ‘super sophisticated’, thank goodness, or I would have to ignore the latest science*:

  • *New Paper: Solar Cycles Linked To Warming Pause


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the cold … it hurts

No wonder it’s cold. Sunny tropical Broome cooled to 9.9C this morning. Hey, it’s mid August, whatever happened to the warming. This, by GWPF:

Antarctic Sea Ice Extent is 1,354,000 sq km above the 1981-2010 mean. 148th daily record.


Full post

Massive Increase In Arctic Ice Over The Past Two Years

Green shows gain since August 15, 2012. Red shows loss.

ScreenHunter_1993 Aug. 16 13.05

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all gassed up with a shale gas boom …

The ‘stop the frakking’ protestors would do well to watch these two videos, or let these people get very rich: AN AMUSING  AD: HELP ME STAY RICH!

Internet media is all at sea over what to do about it.


Now, here’s a surprise, must be an election coming soon. Glenn Reynolds posts:

CHANGE: Democrats Embracing Shale Boom Ahead of Midterms.

In the run-up to this fall’s midterm elections, Democrats seem to be stifling some of their green sensibilities and embracing the recent U.S. energy revolution. Fracking has completely transformed the American energy landscape in just a few short years, and environmentalists, a key component of the Democratic base, aren’t happy. As the WSJ reports, many on the left seem willing to weather the criticism of this increasingly out of touch interest group as they tout the numerous benefits of the shale boom. . . .

But politicians on either side of the aisle would be remiss if they saw economic growth and environmental stewardship as mutually exclusive pursuits. True, fracking has unlocked a new bounty of fossil fuels, and greens are quick to remind the public that neither oil nor gas is renewable, at least on a human time scale. But the natural gas being drilled out of shale across America is green. Shale gas is displacing coal as a baseload power source (a type of power production renewables cannot yet provide), and it emits roughly half the greenhouse gases that coal does. As a result, shale gas is actually helping the U.S. lower emissions.

Moreover, natural gas plants are cheaper to bring on- and offline, which makes them a perfect fit to complement wind and solar energy, typical green favorites (when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing, gas plants can provide necessary power, and then have their output curtailed when the skies clear and turbines start spinning again).

Fracking is opening up new oil and gas plays all across the country, and Democrats who previously might have vocally criticized fossil fuel production are finding plenty of reasons to hop on the shale bandwagon.

At least for the next few months.

Continue reading

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restoring eye sight …

The Hollows Foundation, where the eyesight of ten people are restored in just 80 minutes. Donate today so Dr Ruit can continue his wonderful work.

My favorite health charity has this video out, showing an amazing surgeon at work:This video has to be seen to be believed. How is it possible that one surgeon has personally restored sight to almost 120,000 people… and counting? Dr Sanduk Ruit is one of the world’s top eye surgeons, and was a personal friend and colleague of Fred Hollows. 

In this time-lapse video, watch how fast Dr Ruit works to give the gift of sight to patient-after-patient in an eye camp in Nepal.

Dr Ruit is one in a million, and that’s the problem. Your support can help us train the surgeons and nurses who are carrying on Fred’s sight-restoring work.

Fred was a man who was quick to recognise a problem and even quicker to act and find a solution. In his words: ‘When I’ve seen an opportunity, I haven’t sat down and called a committee meeting…we’ve gone and done it.’ This attitude helped him to inspire many doctors and other health professionals to volunteer their time for his national program to attack eye disease in Indigenous Australians. This program became known as the National Trachoma and Eye Health Program.

Fred Hollows examining an Indigenous Australian

From 1976 to 1978, his teams screened 100,000 people, 60% of whom were of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage. Because of this program, the rate of curable blindness among these communities was halved.

This ‘can do’ attitude sometimes meant that Fred could be considered as being short tempered and outspoken. His early campaigns earned him almost as many enemies as friends and he was often referred to as the ‘Wild Colonial Boy’ of Australian surgery. This nickname referred to both his love of the bush as well as his temper.

Click here to watch the video

A Dream is Born

Fred then heard about a civil war in Eritrea (Africa) and how there were no eye doctors to treat the people who were suffering. At the time, Eritrea was one of the world’s poorest countries and once again, Fred could not just stand by and do nothing.

‘Each year in Africa about two and a half million people go blind…and they just go blind… they sit around in their huts,’ he said at the time. So again he mobilised a team to go over and help.

By the 1980s, Fred had extended his campaign for treating avoidable eye disease and was soon travelling all over the world. A great believer in helping people to help themselves, Fred set up eye clinics in some of the world’s poorest countries. At these clinics he not only treated people suffering from eye diseases, but also taught local doctors how to treat these diseases so they could continue his work.

One of the six table operating theatres in action without operating microscopes at Lahan Hospital (Nepal) in 2001One of the six table operating theatres in action without operating microscopes at Lahan Hospital (Nepal) in 2001. Photo courtesy of Rex Shore and the Hollows Foundation.

As word of his work spread, more and more Australians volunteered their time and donated money so Fred could continue to establish his clinics in developing countries around the world. His dream of setting up an eye lens factory in Eritrea became a reality when Australians donated more then $6 million to the cause.

Fred’s dream was to continue to his work, so when he was diagnosed with cancer in 1989, he set about ensuring the dream would stay alive. The Fred Hollows Foundation was established in 1992 and when Fred died in 1993, his wife Gabby continued the work of the Foundation.

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aussie madness …

Simon from Australian Climate Madness must feel that the climate debate has been won by the sceptics. I know the feeling, as posts on climate are now much reduced and it’s getting colder, so Simon has more time on his hands. He has just started a New blog: Aussie Madness

If it’s anything like his other, it will worth a regular visit.

There’s plenty of madness in Australian politics to keep him occupied for a long time. Like this over at Smithy’s:How Gillard was happy to trash Australia’s sporting reputation when it suited her,

or this at Warwick Hughes: In the “Ah-doan-beleeve-it” category – TV news says – ICAC investigating politicians over “smear campaign”

The moral of the story is, always be sceptical of what the media tries telling us. Check the other blogs for corroboration.

My own madness post: repeal Section 18C now … or use it!

Congratulations Simon, keep it up cobber …

Canberra wildlife

Canberra wildlife

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why Labor is on the nose …



The Oxford Dictionary defines patronage thus:

The power to control appointments to office or the right to privileges.

   Yet Latham is right, patronage is the driving force that’s obviously central to decisions made by the Labor system.  What new Board will be set up?   What new offices, jobs, travel, consultancies.

Because the union movement is the controller of its political wing the Labor Party this issue of patronage should be front and centre at the Royal Commission into Union Governance and Corruption.

I hate the thought that my son could miss out on a job because he is not Michael Williamson’s son.

Labor’s culture of patronage is of its essence a corruption of a liberal free market western democracy.  I hope the Royal Commision is onto that too. (Michael Smith)

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is there anything CO2 can’t do? …

It’s serious, people:

Gotta love that extra CO2:

Rank renewables – Josh 284

Another story about mad ‘renewables’, this time a scheme for burning rubbish (which presumably increases CO2 emissions). The company ‘Waste4fuel’ have piled up 20,000 tonnes of rubbish but neglected to burn any of it for energy, leaving it, for a number of years, to stink out the neighbourhood and spontaneously catch fire – read about it on the Mail or Express websites, even on the BBC website.

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why I moved to the tropics …

Whatever happened to Globull warming?

Is this the coldest?

Sorry Goulburn, you've been usurped. This is cold ...

Sorry Goulburn, you’ve been usurped. This is cold …

I’m thinking, heavy dew? Or did someone leave a sprinkler on. So, it must be even colder in the Antarctic, where the cold comes from, Warwick Hughes: Gaia strikes back – British Antarctic Survey trapped without power during record cold -55.4° C
The CFact story direct -

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repeal Section 18C now … or use it!

Anti-semitic racism hits Australia’s Education system, now where are those 18Ccharges they so wanted to keep?

This story, at least has now been picked up internationally. Let’s hope those racist anti-Semite students and their professors are condemned by their words.

“We’ve seen across campuses, across Melbourne, even across Australia, what would be classed as anti-semitism in any understanding being carried out against Jewish students simply because Jewish students are associated with Israel.

“Some of the things that we’re hearing on campus at the moment are beyond reprehensible.

“You’ve got fundamental bullying of people just because of their views, their religious beliefs.”

From Instapundit so it’s an international story as well.

As for the 18C clause that the Liberals had as part of the election platform that was campaigned for to be terminated: [...] Quadrant – a bastion of the Australian conservative/liberal establishment, having effectively declared Abbott’s government an illiberal regime – is organising a civil-disobedience campaign against 18c.

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