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Slaughter of the Frogs

By johnboy - 15 December 2009 24

[First filed: Dec 13, 2009 @ 8:16]

Back when I worked in cinemas in London (over ten years ago) we had sensors in our refrigerators and freezers that triggered alarms when the temperatures departed from the acceptable range.

One might think the ACT Government’s much vaunted northern corroboree frog breeding program would care about its charges at least as much as a cinema cares about its ice creams. I mean if you lose a batch of ice creams you can get more delivered tomorrow. Whereas a rare frog breeding program indicates there are problems with supply.

But the ABC informs us that TAMS couldn’t even manage that:

Around 700 tadpoles and 300 frogs died when the refrigeration unit in a purpose built container housing the frogs at Tidbinbilla failed.

The frogs had been bred in captivity over the past two years.

Sharon Lane from the Department of Territory and Municipal Services says the breeding program staff are shattered.

It’s nice to know that having negligently slaughtered a population they were funded to propagate they feel badly.

They’re now promising to install an alarm system.

I’d be disappointed if it wasn’t entirely in keeping with what we’ve become used to.

UPDATE: The ABC’s Breakfast News is reporting a CT Story (no link at this time) saying the initial failure was a breeding program employee deciding to turn the refrigeration off so an ABC camera crew could have a better sound environment for recording.

Which makes one wonder what they thought the camera crew had come out for?

The greater failure still lies not in the fridge being turned off (horrific as it is), but the lack of monitoring systems capable of alerting anyone to the mishap.

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Slaughter of the Frogs
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ChrisinTurner 7:11 am 16 Dec 09

Piratemonkey said :

ChrisinTurner said :

You may find that the proposed alarm cannot be connected to any 24/7 manned location from Tidbinbilla. Why did they decide to do this work at Tidbinbilla rather than at their proper research facilities at Grace?

Actually I believe you will find a wireless data connection and a solar panel + battery to keep the alarm up and running would cost less then a couple grand. All you need then, is a service to send a SMS message to someones mobile phone when things go down. You could set that up for a few bucks. Hell I have hacked together a similar alarm system minus the solar panel with things I have lying around the house.

There is no mobile phone coverage so your ‘wireless’ system would have to be done by satellite.

The cat did it 11:09 pm 15 Dec 09

Ok, so the fridge was turned off on purpose- but that still doesn’t explain the lack of an independent, functioning over-temperature alarm system on this critical equipment. Almost every domestic security alarm has a built-in dialler these days, that will dial specified phone numbers when triggered. Couldn’t something like this have been rigged to phone a supervisor etc ??? Sounds like there is more information yet to come to light on this story.

Mordd 8:39 pm 15 Dec 09

Any chance the ABC could make that keys idea actual policy lol? Sounds damm sensible to me….

Power Protect 3:34 pm 15 Dec 09

Ozhair said :

When you turn off a fridge at a location, you put your car keys inside the fridge. That way, you’re not going anywhere until you rember that the fridge has been turned off 😉

I do the same thing when I have to leave my phone in a lockbox. Until I started doing that I would sometimes be a considerable distance away before I realise I’ve left my phone behind.

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