Another cause for celebration among the volunteers was the success over the weekend of the two dingo pups sent up to the region last week for training purposes. Buffy and Kimba are learning how to sniff out cane toads in areas where they are difficult to find, especially during the day when they tend to burrow underground.
Trainer Sarah Fyffe says her four and half month pup, Buffy, performed beyond her expectations. “Buffy had never seen a live toad before,” Sarah says, “but quickly learnt to recognise their sounds, scent and sight – differentiating them from the native frogs.”
Sarah is in Kununurra for five weeks to train the dingo pups and is encouraging other KTB volunteers and community members with dogs to bring their own dogs in for training before she leaves. “It’s good for the dogs own safety,” Sarah says, “and they can be put you good use in the toad busting field.”
Despite a live cane toad being found in Kununurra last week the KTB and their support groups, including the Department of Environment and Conservation, are optimistic that they can minimise the impact of a massive onslaught into the Kimberley.
Lee says their biggest concern at the moment is keeping the cane toads away from the Ord River System. KTB have organised a 10 day strategy commencing on Thursday with the Australian volunteer group, CVA whose patron, Janet Holmes a Court is giving the KTB access to her property, Victoria River Station.
“This next couple of weeks will determine how successful we are on knocking the major incursion along Victoria River down,” Lee says. “It will also determine how far down the Wickham they have gone.”
Image: Buffy “the toad slayer” on the job.
Contact Sandy Boulter at Friends of the Kimberley Toad Busters on 0427 508 582 and visit www.canetoads.com.au for in depth information on cane toad development or email Friends at Friendsktb@yahoogroups.com
If everyone was a toad buster, the toads would be busted!