In response to recently aired/published scientific comment about cane toad cannibalism, the Kimberley Toad Busters, who have been toadbusting at the colonising front every weekend since 20 September 2005 - that is nearly two years!, wish to reiterate some of our field observations:
We have caught, by hand, over 118,000 mature breeding cane toads (around 59,000 kgs of cane toad biomass, and around 29,000 kg male cane toad biomass out of the ecosystem)
We have recorded the weight, gender and length of nearly each one of these toads, along with the place and circumstances of their capture
We have observed only 5 instances of cannibalism, one of which was a mature female cane toad with a cane toad toadlet in her mouth
The DEC, who are also in the field at the front, confirm that sightings of cannibalism are rare at the colonising front
We have not supplied any cane toads from the colonising front to scientists so that they can investigate the presence or absence of parasites in these colonising cane toads and we have not observed any scientists collecting OR observing cane toads from/at this colonising front
Our observations reveal that one mechanism of colonisation is that the males move the colonising front forward (often in hundreds) as a single sex advance without females. The males call up the females once they are settled safely and ready to breed. (Furthermore, we have noted several instances where in the previous year we removed all the males from such a place before the females were called and they have not returned to that place the following year, and so there is no breeding in such places this year)
If we left the males and missed just one mature female, she has the capacity to lay 30,000 eggs in one lay
The males poison and kill our wildlife, use up food resources and destroy our waterways just as effectively as female cane toads
Our field evidence and observations leads us to believe that there is no valid scientific reason to leave the males at this colonising front.
If everyone was a toad buster, the toads would be busted!