Tasmanian Fox Hoax or Fraud

To: "" <>
Subject: Tasmanian Fox Hoax or Fraud
From: Andrew Hobbs <>
Date: Fri, 11 Dec 2015 00:25:57 +0000
If someone fabricated evidence then sure perhaps they should be prosecuted.

But I strongly disagree with the idea that the effort as wasted. Reading
the reports in the articles at the links it sounds more like polititions
jumping on the bandwagon and using hindsight since this review was
conducted on the evidence gained over the previous 10  years or more.

For example 'Another review member, veterinary pathologist David
Oberndorf, says the program failed the first test of proof. "People need
to know that this has been independently, repeatedly demonstrated that
you have got evidence that shows that the fox is in the landscape," he

He is implying that everyone has to wait around until the fox has become
sufficiently common that they have independent, repeated proof that
foxes are present. By that criteria if there really was a problem it
could cost 10 or 100 times more or even become impossible to eradicate.

Another is 'Fox ecologist Clive Marks, who led the review team, disputes
much of the evidence used to justify millions of dollars being poured
into the program.'

In fact he might dispute the evidence but it is still the evidence
collected in those years. Could he have been sure that foxes weren't
present 14 years ago without that evidence.

Another report had a quote "But hunter and gamekeeper Ian Rist says if
foxes were widespread in the state, he and other hunters would have seem
them." What a stupid irrelevant comment. No one ever claimed that foxes
were widespread. All it would have taken would have been one female and
one male. And perhaps we do know now there are no foxes in Tasmania, but
that is after 10 years of intense searching.

So what should they have done. Wait around until some hunter or farmer
had shot a fox and they had absolutely proven to be present and breeding
like rabbits.

Australia has so many instances of the consequences of letting a handful
of an exotic species loose that I would have thought that we should be
cheering the politicians who had the understanding and foresight to
allow such a campaign to go ahead. We should also be thoroughly
criticizing the reporters who are slanting their news stories as if it
was a waste of money, when what they are relying on are the results of
10 years of work they are criticizing. What fantastic hindsight.

I would like to see how those same people would react if someone came
back with a false positive for foot and mouth disease say, and the
current plan for its control was put into place before they could
absolutely prove that it wasn't foot and mouth.

And keep in mind the reaction of the various Agriculture boards to
reports of possible exotic species, even though most of those turn out
to be negative. They know that it is better to be safe than sorry.


On 10/12/2015 6:46 PM, Ian May wrote:
> <>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
> 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
> <HR>
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Andrew Hobbs


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