Journal article

Herpetological Diversity of Timor-Leste: Updates and a Review of Species Distributions

Mark O'Shea, Caitlin Sanchez, Andrew Kathriner, Sven Mecke, Venancio Lopes Carvalho, Agivedo Varela Ribeiro, Zito Afranio Soares, Luis Lemos De Araujo, Hinrich Kaiser


University of Melbourne Researchers


Funding Acknowledgements

Our foremost thanks are for the unwavering, personal support we have received from Their Excellencies Xanana Gusmao, current Prime Minister and former President of Timor-Leste, and Jose Ramos-Horta, former President and former Prime Minister of Timor-Leste. Their interest in the survey work, in the educational opportunities this brings to Timorese citizens, and the welfare of wildlife in the country is deeply rooted in their understanding of nation-building and very gratifying for a team of scientists. This gratitude extends further, especially to Claudia AbateDebat, former Senior Advisor in the Prime Minister's Office, for her tireless efforts to allow us to meet the right people and for helping us comport ourselves with aplomb during important meetings, and to Manuel Mendes, Director of National Parks, for issuing the necessary permits and for his dedication to the conservation of Timor-Leste. Special thanks go to Damien Kingsbury, for his assistance with any matters requiring an historical or political perspective. We received able assistance in the field during Phases IV-VIII from Zach Brown, Kevin Burns, Melissa Carillo, Marissa Cox, Britta Doring, Joanna Flores, Scott Heacox, Stephanie Hughes, Naveen Jalota, Paul Landry, Aaren Marsh, Gloria Morales, Kyle Olsen, Jay Paris, Julia Pozo, Justin Rader, Claudia Rivas, Robert SeWell, David Taylor, and Franziska Wagner. Without them, many specimen records would have been missed. For their assistance with the logistics of travel we thank Paulo Aniceto (Rentlo Car Rental), Faridah Suhaimi (Air Timor), Gareth Turner (Air Timor), Ed Turner (Air Timor), Ian Groucott (Emirates), as well as the staff at Timor Lodge Hotel, particularly Kemal, Michelle, and Sheemon. A survey such as this requires an inordinate amount of specimen work covering many taxa in order to provide the most reliable identifications possible. We therefore gratefully acknowledge the assistance of the many individuals who were instrumental in facilitating loans, or permitting one or several of us to examine specimens under their care (for institutional abbreviations see Sabaj Perez, 2014): Jeremy Jacobs, Steve Gotte, Robert Wilson, Kenneth Tighe, George Zug, and Roy McDiarmid (USNM); Annemarie Ohler and Ivan Ineich (MNHN); Gunther Kohler and Linda Acker (SMF); Wolfgang Bohme and Andre Koch (ZFMK); Pim Arntzen, Ronald de Ruiter, and Esther Dondorp (RMNH); Patrick Campbell and Cohn McCarthy (BMNH); Jose Rosado, Joe Martinez, and James Hanken (MCZ); David Kizirian and David Dickey (AMNH); Karla Schneider (MLU); Rolf Beutel and Matthias Kruger (Phyletisches Museum, Jena, Germany); Fritz Geller-Grimm (MWNH); Raffael Winkler, Denis Vallan, and Urs Wuest (NHMB); Heinz Grillitsch, Silke Schweiger, and Georg Ga beta ner (NMW); Frank Tillack and Mark-Oliver Rodel (ZMB); Paul Doughty (WAM); Kelvin Lim (ZRC); Stefan Hertwig (NMBE); Raffael Ernst and Markus Auer (MTKD); Andreas Schmitz (MHNG); and Alexander Haas and Jakob Hallermann (ZMH). Financial assistance for equipment and supplies was partially provided by a Title V Grant to Victor Valley College. Partial financing of student travel was provided by the Associated Student Body at Victor Valley College, and by donations from Pamela MacKay and Melinda Fisher. This paper is Contribution No. 15 from the Tropical Research Initiative at Victor Valley College.