Tasmanian Fox Hoax or Fraud

To: Ian May <>, Birding-aus <>
Subject: Tasmanian Fox Hoax or Fraud
From: Kim Sterelny <>
Date: Thu, 10 Dec 2015 12:12:17 +0000
Dear All

False alarms of this kind are likely to damage the credibility of the 
environmental movement; there are plenty of well funded and highly motivated 
individuals out there looking for ways of discrediting it; just recall some of 
the very way climate change scientists have had their e-mail accounts hacked 
into and quoted out of context to suggest malpractice.So real malpractice, or 
even sloppy or alarmist practice, will be remembered, exaggerated, and 
recycled.  I think there has been some tendencies in the past to use pretty 
doubtful "splitting" taxonomies to turn isolated populations into supposed 
species, which were then more or less automatically critically endangered. 
Given the kind of unfriendly vigilance to which conservation movements are 
subjected, I think its wise to be cautious, to not over-call dangers, and so on.

That said: surely its great news if there are no foxes in Tasmania! The place 
is full of small marsupials that would be at great risk, and so I am delighted 
to know that they are safe from one major peril, at least


Kim Sterelny, School of Philosophy, Research School of the Social Sciences, 
Australian National University, Acton, 0200, ACT, Australia


From: Birding-Aus <> on behalf of Ian May 
Sent: Thursday, 10 December 2015 9:46 PM
To: Birding-aus
Cc: Hunt, Greg (MP); Ivan Dean
Subject: Tasmanian Fox Hoax or Fraud

<>A recent review into the Tasmanian Fox eradication program has found
no evidence of foxes in Tasmania.   There are calls for a thorough
Police investigation into this whole sorry saga.


See also

This disgraceful episode has irreparably damaged the credibility of the
environmental movement in Tasmania.   There are many questions that need
answers before this one is put to bed.  We should all feel cheated that
more than 45 million dollars has been wasted, probably at the expense of
genuine needs such as conservation and protection of Orange-bellied
Parrot etc.

It is interesting to note that birding-aus probably got the first scoop
on this back in October 2002.  At that time, it was interesting to
observe that Mr. Camby, the author of the report
was howled down by some birding aus subscribers for suggesting that
there could be fraud at the heart of the Tasmanian Fox eradication program.

This saga places a cloud of shame over the entire Tasmanian
environmental movement.  It is very sad to see.

Ian May
St Helens, Tasmania

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