Cane toads

A heartfelt cry from the Kununurra Community to the Nation.

We will Stop the Cane Toads getting into WA!

The aim of this website is to document the Kimberley Toad Busters fight to stop the cane toad crossing into Western Australia and to provide the Western Australian Community some understanding of the enormous efforts (and contributions) that can be made by unpaid volunteers!
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By Sandy Boulter (Volunteer Cane Toad Educator and Coordinator of the Perth based Friends of the Kimberley Toad Busters) and Lee Scott-Virtue (President and Volunteer Field Coordinator for the Kimberley Toad Busters)


The Cane Toad is a Key Threatening Processto the Australian Nation

Declared by the Federal Government 12 April 2005

This Newsletter is produced by Kimberley Specialists In Research Inc in conjunction with Kimberley Toad Buster Inc. Kimberley Specialists, a founding member of the Kimberley Toad Busters, continues to support the campaign against the cane toad by raising funds. KSR and KTB are tax deductible entities.


"It is important to recognise that the pristine terrestrial and aquatic habitat systems of the Kimberley are already under threat. Current land-care and resource management policies undertaken by land and resource managers have had a detrimental impact on Kimberley bio diversity. Most of our plant and animal bio diversity is in a fragile state. The impact of the cane toad, if allowed to happen, will literally destroy one of the last unique bio diversity wilderness frontiers in Australia " (quote Lee Scott-Virtue. Kimberley Specialists.)


 I sincerely regret the long delay between KTB Newsletters and the fact that our website has not been up-dated as regularly as we would like. Dean is up-dating the website as we speak. The last three months of 2007 has been an exceptionally busy time for KTBs with Dean and I actively involved in setting up the Nicholson Station Research component of KS & KTBs, flying to and from Perth for awards, establishing the KTB depot in Kununurra, doing two KTB documentaries and working with our first research student from Macquarie University, Lyall Grieves. Sandy Boulter (once again at her own expense) flew up to Kununurra for 5 weeks to assist KTBs with funding proposals, the growing administrative work-load, to help set up Nicholson and to toad bust. It is because of people like Sandy that KTBs continue to grow in strength and volunteers.

 Ronnie Atkins became our first paid field coordinator and has done an admirable job of coordinating volunteer teams into the field since September. Ronnie is now moving to Halls Creek to take up a new job and where she will also continue her KTB volunteer role of actively working towards educating and involving Aboriginal people in the cane toad fight. KTBs have now appointed Dave Woods as the Field Coordinator until June 2008. Dave is an inaugural member of KTBs and has voluntarily managed the KTB cane toad field reconnaissance teams since September 2005. Dave brings with him, an incredible amount of experience with volunteer groups as well as youth and energy to the huge job of coordinating thousands of volunteers safely into the field.

 Lee Scott-Virtue

This is why we toad bust!

Two more victims of the cane toad.

Goulds Goanna

a King Brown.

A grimace of agony-a toad in the belly.


Two dead pythons
-victims of the Toad.

KTB Recognition Box

This KTB newsletter sees a new addition to our newsletters, wherein we recognise the efforts of particular Kimberley Toad Busters who make up who we are.

 Sharon McLachlan has been an extraordinary volunteer for the KTBs in between the hours she spends in her day job, running the building licence department of the Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley and the volunteer hours she puts into helping to run the Kununurra Picture Gardens .  Apart from her regular toadbusting out in the field, Sharon has written award winning KTB nominations which have been successful in obtaining recognition for the Kimberley Toad Busters throughout Australia .

For the work of the KTBs. Sharon has run almost weekly cane toad educational stands at Coles and the Whitegum Markets. Sharon has assisted in the organization of putting the KTB displays together for businesses wanting to play a part in the campaign, organised the ordering of T-Shirts, caps and other toad busting promotional material and has actively helped in all the fund-raising events held by KTBs.

Despite an enormous work-load and a busy personal life nothing is ever too much for Sharon .

Sharon is an outstanding and dedicated Kimberley Toad Buster and a wonderful Community Leader. Sharon McLachlan gets the number one vote from the KTBs.

Thank you Sharon .


  • Up-dates in a Nutshell!
  • Introducing Dave Woods.
  • Current cane toad front line corridors moving towards WA and other up-dates: Report by Dave Woods.
  • A Holiday with a Difference! By Colin Elton
  • The Impact of the Cane Toad (Bufo marinus) on the Small Reptile Fauna of the Kimberley Region. Research Project: Lyall Grieves.
  • Toad Busting Apprentice: by Norma Wainwright.
  • Toad Population Limiters.
  • Five new vehicles with trailers from Lotterywest
  • $240,000 from State government for weekly toadbusting recurrent field costs lands in the KTB bank accounts

 1. Up-dates in a Nutshell!

  KTB’s finalists in the Western Australian Environment Awards ‘Community of the Year’ category. KTBs were also finalists in the WA Regional Achievement and Community Award ‘Community of the Year’ category and semi-finalists in the ‘Biodiversity’ category.

  • Dave Woods, an inaugural KTB member and volunteer KTB field reconnaissance team leader since 2005 has agreed to take on the full tim e role of employed Field Coordinator, under the direction of KTB Board member responsible for Field Coordination, Lee Scott-Virtue. Dave’s appointment is an interim position from December 2007 until KTBs find funding for a permanent position, at which tim e the position will be advertised.
  • Almost 200,000 mature toads (approximately 80,000 kilo’s ) now measured and assessed and removed from the cane toad front lines moving towards the WA border. Millions of tadpoles and metamorphs destroyed.
  • KTB volunteers put in 9,336 hours in 3 months of toad busting at the cane toad front line from September 2007 through to December 2007. It is es tim ated that KTB volunteers have now worked an incredible total of 448,128 total hours!
  • The KTB field efforts and those of the DEC field team have ensured that numbers of cane toads currently moving towards WA have been dramatically reduced. These efforts have also ensured that cane toads will not cross the WA border or reach the Ord River catchment this wet season.
  • Toad Busting fieldwork by KTBs and DEC teams confirm that numbers in all areas that have been consistently busted for the past two and a quarter years are showing significant reduction in numbers.
  • Vietnam vets from around Australia to join forces with the Kimberley Toad Busters in their fight to slow down and mitigate the impact of toads as they steadily move towards our beloved Kimberley .


Spraying metamorphs with detol.

Netting for tadpoles.

  2. Introducing Dave Woods.

KTBs new employed Field Co-ordinator.

 Dave has been a volunteer with KTBs for almost two and a half years. As well as a wealth of field experience in a number of areas (as described below), Dave’s knowledge of cane toad behavior at the colonizing front line is extraordinary. He has voluntarily coordinated all KTBs front line reconnaissance field work and participated in numerous cane toad documentaries since September 2005. Dave has also been closely involved in assisting Lyall Grieves in his research project on the impact of toads on small reptile species.

 Dave has been a member of the Western Australian Speleological Group for fourteen years. He has studied, mapped and surveyed unexplored caves throughout WA. For the past 9 years Dave’s interests have been focused on Cave systems of the Kimberley specializing in Bats and other cave vertebrate and invertebrate fauna.  As a volunteer Dave has assisted and led research scientists into some of the most remote cave systems in Australia . Dave has also assisted Cave Divers with their exploration of new caves in the East Kimberley . Dave has been a Volunteer Sports trainer and educator for eight years with the Kununurra Demons Footy Club becoming a life member in 2006

Dave has also been an Abseil Instructor and Caving Trip Leader with the WA's Southwest Region Scouts Association for five years involving general leadership roles and outdoor facilitation as a major part of this volunteer work.

Dave was a Finalist in the Community Individual volunteer of the year in 2006 for his work with the Kimberley Toad Busters and the local Kununurra Football Club.

Dave is a Free Lance Journalist and writes for the Western Australian Fishing Magazine and Cave Australia .

3. The Cane Toad Front Line up-date.

 Report by Dave Woods.

   Frontline Update 

            Victoria Highway Area;  Toads are as far west as Saddle Ck but still in very small numbers to date. This is the eastern boundary of  Newry Station.  It is roughly seventy three kilometres from the NT/WA Border from Saddle Ck. These areas will need to be busted constantly over the wet season and any new breeding monitored .

            Bullo River Station; Toads are building up in strong numbers in the vicinity of the Homestead and what is known as the Homestead Ck Area. Breeding has occurred in this area recently. This area will need to be busted throughout the wet when ever access is possible.

             Upper West Baines River ; Toads have been found in small numbers upstream on West Baines River  towards Blackfellow Ck. It is roughly twenty kilometres from the Victoria Highway . Toads are moving in a southerly direction in this area. At present numbers are still fairly low and these areas will need to be monitored over the wet (access difficult) and hit fairly hard next dry season.

              Bullita Area; Toads are present in this area and are making their way South towards the upper reaches of the Humbert River Wet season toad busting is difficult so it will be critical for KTBs to hit this area hard early on in the dry season.  

               Humbert River Station (Lingara); Last wet season the toads managed to get a few kilometres upstream from the homestead on the Humbert   River . They were also found in Peters Ck to the southwest. Numbers are still fairly low but wet season access is difficult so this area will need to be hit hard early in the dry.

              Wickham River Area; toads are present in the River upstream to the Johnston Billabong area. The significant busting in the area to the north east the previous dry season worked wonderfully as toads only migrated around twenty kilometres. This is opposed to the fifty plus kilometres they can travel over one wet season.

               Upper Victoria River ; Toads still remain to the north of Pigeon Hole homestead. Larger numbers of toads are found on the eastern side of the Victoria River in this area. There are significantly less toads on the western side of the Victoria River until arriving at the Wickham River area.

General Station up-date

 Auvergne Station Up-date. New breeding evident at East Baines River , right down to the saltwater areas due to the increase of fresh water flow from heavy rains. Metamorphs also reported at West Baines Bridges , Scorpion Ck, Snake Ck, Dick, Lily Ck and Kennedy Ck. No vehicle access off Highway as country is now too wet!

Coolibah Crocodile Farm Up-date. New breeding and increase in presence of mature toads and Metamorphs. No access across Vic   River by car or boat at present.

Legune Station up-date . No toads present!

Newry Station up-date. Toads have only just arrived onto the eastern boundary of the property in the Saddle Ck highway area. Number’s very minimal.

Bullo River Station up-date . Toads increasing in number around the Homestead Creek area with evidence of new breeding. KTBs to work in and around this area over the wet when and while access is possible. KTBs will also look at ways of protecting the systems carrying the pygmy crocodiles.

Coolibah, Moolooloo, Humbert River , Fitzroy , Victoria River Roadhouse and Victoria River Downs ; Toad numbers still down on what they were when KTBs started to bust in these areas in 2005/6. New breeding evident in most areas. 

 4. A Holiday with a Difference

My wife Mags and I decided in 2006 after seeing the TV footage of a Cane Toad Muster in the Northern Territory that we would like to take part in the 2007 event.

It was as a result of a phone conversation with a fellow veteran Allan McKenzie that we became aware of the Kununurra based cane toad group Kimberley Toad Busters.

Photo: Little Man with a Big Toad

Allan advised us that a group of Vietnam Vets from the Bunbury region involving Peter and Helen Chapman had just had a most enjoyable tim e based on a cattle station in the NT catching the ever westward heading Cane Toad (Bufo Marinus).We contacted KTB who said “Come on Up.”

We headed North!

Our first foray after this dangerous invader took place on Auvergne Station in the NT at Skeahans Billabong and Peartree tank. The volunteers consisted of travellers from various walks of life and locations, local indigenous children accompanied by a lady elder and Kununurra residents who are passionate about preserving the environment and native biodiversity of the beautiful Kimberley Region.

After a campfire meal we hunted the enemy with torches and spotlights placing the captives in large plastic rubbish bags for processing the next morning. At this tim e they were measured, classified by sex and either adult or juvenile, this information is then recorded prior to the toad being placed in another plastic bag to be humanely destroyed by asphyxiation by CO2 gas. Dettol is also very effective when sprayed from an atomizer or as a solution in a plastic bag.

We were joined in subsequent weeks by fellow Shire of Murray residents Rick and Jan Bowley, Don and Jenny Connor from Coogee. Rick and Jan are definitely going back in 2008.

Photo: Sorting and Recording Toads

Photo: Cane Toad trap with solar powered light attracting insects, which in turn attract cane toads

The whole exercise is a lot of fun, interacting with people from other nations and cultures as well as giving one a sense of satisfaction that you have made a contribution to protect the environment of this wonderful country that we are fortunate enough to call our home.

You also get to visit and camp in unique places that you would normally not have access to.

The best tim e for us soft southern based types to take part is from May to Mid August or if you are tougher than my King Gee shorts go any time.

For info whilst travelling contact KTB on 08 9168 2576 or Perth based Co coordinator Sandy Boulter on 0427 508 582.For a more detailed explanation of the Cane Toad issue and the activities of KTB visit additional information is also available at or As a volunteer, Sandy gives presentations about toadbusting to any groups who ask, in and around Perth and the South West of WA.

As you travel this vast and beautiful country spread the message and become an ambassador for KTB pass on this summary and pictures and call in for a day or as long as you like.

Colin and Margaret Elton

Oh my feet! Ju Ju after a long afternoon busting metamorphs.

A hard night!

4. The Impact of the Cane Toad (Bufo marinus) on the Small Reptile Fauna of the Kimberley Region

The following is an extract of a research project currently being undertaken by a Macquarie student Lyall Grieve. Lyall has already spent considerable tim e in the field with the KTBs working both at the front line and in areas of the Kimberley that will be under threat once the toad arrives. Lyall will continue working with KTBs through 2008.

Reproduction or use of the information in this extract may only be undertaken with the express written permission of the KTBs and Lyall Grieve.

Lyall Grieve

This is a brief summary of my current research project, based at Macquarie University Sydney. Under the help and guidance of my supervisors, Drs Jim Kohen and Adam Stow, and the generous and extensive help of Lee Scott-Virtue and the Toadbusters and the WA DEC, I will be undertaking a survey of small reptile biodiversity, and the possible impacts of the Cane Toad through competition and predation.

When exotic species are introduced to new environments, many interconnected changes and shifts in the natural ecosystems can occur. These changes are incurred by combinations of factors such as predation, competition, new diseases, habitat alteration, and species displacement (Webb et al. 2005; Mack et al. 2000). The impact of these processes brought about by exotic introductions can be highly detrimental to ecosystems and the survival of many species. Extinctions and a total destabilisation of food webs can occur from the arrival of one or more exotic species (Mack et al. 2000). Therefore it is of vital importance to conservation and the management and preservation of environments and species that the potential impacts of exotic introductions are thoroughly established (Mack et al. 2000). One such introduction is that of the Cane Toad, Bufo marinus into Australia . The toxic physiology of the toad has been regarded as the primary concern for native species, due to the lack of behavioural and physiological adaptations to a poisonous prey item (Webb et al. 2005). Bufo marinus produces a toxin made from steroidal cardio-toxins, primarily affecting vertebrates ( Tyler , 1987). The defensive actions of this toxin give the species a “learned avoidance” by natural predators, as the toxin is fast enough to allow a predator to sample the toad, and let it go (Freeland & Kerin, 1991; Tyler, 1987). This adaptation creates a highly damaging imbalance when introduced to new habitats, where predators do not have the learned avoidance. Other impacts the Cane Toad may potentially be delivering are competition for resources, and predation on smaller species.

It has become clear worldwide that the Cane Toad is not selective in predation habits; in fact members of the Bufo genus are some of the most adaptable and generalised anuran predators. The toad has evolved to maximise reproductive potential and survivability throughout all stages of growth. The eggs, tadpoles and adults are all highly toxic to predators which results in an extremely high survival rate (30-70%) to reach reproductive maturity. These figures, when combined with the 4000-35000 eggs laid by each female toad twice a year clearly illustrate the scale of the threat to small animals living within a similar or overlapping niche

Where the impacts the toads have on snakes and amphibians have been investigated, very little research has been performed on other endemic fauna. Catling et al. 1999 performed a broad survey of different target groups of including birds, reptiles, invertebrates and mammals. Out of all the sampled fauna, only three groups had significant declines in the “Toads present” areas. These were Coleoptera (beetles), the Dingo, and granivorous/nectarivorous birds. The result for birds was in fact a design error that confounded seasonal effects with year and area. There is a direct negative correlation between abundance of dingoes and cane toads, and similarly coleopteran. Beetles and other large insects form the primary food source for cane toads (Straughan, 1966). Small reptiles including skinks, geckoes and dragons are often anecdotally mentioned as declining or changing distributions and abundance. Skinks are known to have competition pressure by Bufo marinus in Papua New Guinea , as described by the diet analysis by Bailey, 1976. These skinks share the same diet, and differences only show when the skinks avoid some kinds of invertebrates, where the toads do not. In this study there were records of skinks found in the gut contents of the toads, indicating a further, less obvious predatory impact may be at work. These results while inconclusive and in some areas statistically weak, offer an insight to the range of impacts the invasion of the Cane Toad is having on various groups of species.

At the present tim e, the current 'frontline' for the continued expansion of Bufo marinus is located along the Victoria River catchment, on the western edge of the Northern Territory . According to recent radio tracking and monitoring data, the spread of toads within an occupied habitat is approximately at a rate of 100kms/yr, and between habitats (catchments) 27kms/yr, dependant on rainfall patterns and intensity.

After background research was done into various studies concerning the impacts of the Cane Toad on various groups of native species, it was clear there was a significant lack of knowledge for many critical aspects. Most notably is the impact of the Toads on invertebrate diversity over the entire range, and possible competition and predation effects on small reptiles. Most of the research focus has been on toxicity and declines caused by native predators consuming toads, and the impacts on various frog species. There is a considerable amount of general data from research performed in Queensland , however no dedicated work has been done on assessing the effects on reptiles such as skinks, geckos and dragons. Adaptations in snake behaviour and morphology has been discovered by Richard Shine from the University of Sydney , along with significant shifts in range and abundance. Localised reductions in large reptile predators has been ascertained from opportunistic observations during other research. General declines in most frog species, and these declines in predators remain the most critical of the known detrimental effects of the spread of Bufo marinus. However, as the toad moves into new areas, different habitats and faunal communities will become exposed to impacts of the invading species.

The aim of this research is therefore to ascertain a local impact assessment on the biodiversity of the Eastern Kimberley ’s small reptiles by the invasion of the Cane Toad. The project will use methodologies of pitfall trapping and visual surveys, comparing localities of similar geographic and ecological structure with, and without Cane Toads. In addition to this assessment, an analysis of Cane Toad diet will be performed from the target areas in the Northern Territory .

As a small scale university project, the study design that will be utilised here makes use of a minimalist perspective: sample sizes, temporal variation and habitat variety have been reduced to manageable levels, while aiming for valid and significant results. This research represents an es tim ate of the future for the many species of reptiles found in the Kimberley Region.

The Cane Toad has spread rapidly throughout tropical Australia , causing many well documented declines and local extinctions in native animals including mammals, frogs and invertebrates. The Kimberley region of Australia contains some of the world’s most diverse assemblages of reptiles, and is a globally important biodiversity locality. While the detrimental impact of the Toad has been studied and researched for various groups of native animals, there has been very little work on the impacts on the small reptiles. The findings of this research will hopefully benefit management and resource allocations for the region, and for similar future research.


Bailey, P (1978). The Biology of the Cacao Webworm, Pansepta Teleturga Meyr. (Lepidoptera: Xyloryctidae) in Papua New Guinea . Australian Journal of Zoology 26, 673–687.

Catling, P. C., A. Hertog, R. J. Burt, J. C. Wombey, and R. I. Forrester. (1999). The short-term effect of cane toads (Bufo marinus) on native fauna in the Gulf Country of the Northern Territory . Wildlife Research 26:161-185.

Freeland, WJ and Kerin, SH (1988). Within-Habitat Relationships Between Invading Bufo-Marinus and Australian Species of Frog During the Tropical Dry Season. Australian Wildlife Research15, 293–305.

Mack, R. N., D. Simberloff, W. M. Lonsdale, H. Evans, M. Clout, and F. Bazzaz. (2000).

Biotic invasions: Causes, epidemiology, global consequences and control. Issues

in Ecology 5:1-20.

Straughan, I. R. (1966). A natural history of the "cane toad" in Queensland . Alrsr. Nar. Hisr. 15, 230-2.

Tyler, M.J. (1987) Australian Frogs: A Natural History. Published 1997
Cornell University Press.

Webb, J. K., R. Shine, and K. A. Christian. (2005). Does intraspecific niche

partitioning in a native predator influence its response to an invasion by a toxic

prey species? Austral Ecology. (in press).

The following poem is by one of our older KTB members. Norma, despite having reached the young age of 77 and suffering from severe rheumatoid arthritis, has with her husband Bob Wainwright, become one of our most dedicated toad busters. Norma has also taken on the role of writing regular toad articles for local newspapers and magazines.

6. Toad Busting Apprentice

 By Norma Wainwright

I’ve done lots of things through countless years, useful in many ways

But now I’ve settled back, enjoying life’s autumn days

A crossword puzzle, though Sodoku has me beat

A lively book or three keeps me glued to my seat

A spot of gardening or maybe lunch with friends

And time to smell the roses when my day finally ends

Norma ‘scribing’ and Bob setting up toadbusting camp.

I keep abreast of world events and check the local news

Reading “Letters to the Editor” and other people’s views

There are countless things that folk like me can do

Although my limbs are creaky, a painful twinge or two

I like to think I do my best not sit around

Avoid life’s hustle bustle and not just go to ground


There’s more to life than twiddling thumbs or worry about my health

Or watch old age come creeping on, or accumulating wealth

I’ve watched for months and read about the threat of approaching toads

The work that’s done by local folk to stop the ugly toad

The women and kids and men as well who travel further east

They go with purpose, their strong desire, to destroy this ugly beast

I’ve hesitated and wondered if I could be of use

My back is bad, but maybe catching toads could keep me loose

I’m loath to leave my air-conditioning and my comfy coach

But know that idle hands could turn me to a grouch

So the tim e has come to gird my loins, become a new Toad Buster

And sally forth in 4x4 with what courage I can muster


It’s a lovely Sunday August day the year 2007

With picnic lunch and thermos flask I’ve died and gone to heaven

We travel along the highway going East for many K’s

Were headed to some water hole “out bush’ our leader says

My husband drives while my busy mind is thinking

What lies ahead, will I bust a Toad without even blinking?

Norma scribing.

When we arrive at the waterhole we note, not deep but yet

The mud is slippery on the edges, requires a steady step

I’m looking for an ugly Toad; my eyes are fixed and steady

My husband standing very close, both primed and ready

He holds a sturdy stick in hand to drag the critter in

But nothing stirs, no sign of Toad, our hopes are looking thin


But wait I’m sure I saw a movement from the corner of my eye

Then into view a tadpole swims and I knew that by and by

It could turn into a female toad in future weeks ahead

Maybe we should catch it, make sure we kill it dead

Having learnt a gravid female lays hundreds and thousands of eggs

I knew our catch was important; I’m excited with rubbery legs

I urge my husband do something now and he gave a triumphant shout

The sturdy stick shot out and pulled the tadpole out

Onto the muddy back it landed, we almost lost it then

But I grabbed if from the mud; I’m like a clucky hen

Though my motives weren’t protective for I knew it had to die

We’d bust a toad though not yet formed, or I’d know the reason why


So even though our catch was slight my conscience was now clear

I’d joined Toad Busters whose work is valued dear

I know I’m not their greatest help but at least I have made a beginning

I now can help in future to keep Toad numbers thinning

The feeling’s great, I’ve been and done it

If a prize were given for enthusiasm, then I’d have won it

Bob on the ball!

Now it’s been 5 months and more since I joined this weekend fray

Can’t imagine what I did before to help fill in my day

My husband Bob and I, not far this side of eighty

Spend two full day’s, one night, and getting almost matey

With Bufo Marinus, Cane Toad with bulbous looks

I guess we’re getting exercise, not reading books


The work can be quite dangerous because it’s done at night

Bright torches pick up slithering shapes that give me quite a fright

We patrol the Creeks and Turkey Nests and billabongs galore

And spotlight Bufo squatting there along with many more

The younger folk, quite often kids, can catch with great ability

We older one’s just give advise while admiring their agility

But in other ways I do my bit-aside from what’s outlined

I help cook meals and wash up dishes and later act as scribe

When it’s tim e to get statistics written, for records must be kept

I’m good at this, it’s been acknowledged, they know I’m not inept

Each Toad is measured and identified, a female, Male or Juvenile

Check if females are gravid, with eggs to be laid in a while


While Bob, a bushman all his life, has shown what he can do

He’s good with engines, catches Toads and organizes too

Helps set up Camp and builds a fire that’s is soon alight and glowing

The “Bushie” skills he learned when he was young and still growing

He mans the quad bike and collects the bags of Toads

And later they are gassed and buried out bush, off road

Some folk who’ve busted toads have come from other states

They come to lend assistance and then become our mates

We all look forward to the day when out we go again

To slow the tide of Cane Toads and hope to break the chain

For we know how wildlife suffers and we really feel their pain

So every week as volunteers it’s off we go again

7 Toad Population Limiters

 The following is a letter from Maryanne Lewis whose young son Bradley (aged 11) and friend Thynne set up a small group of volunteer toad busters to try and control the cane toad population in Mataranka. We have now established a page on our KTB website for the young Toad Population Limiters in order to follow their progress and hopefully to encourage other young volunteer groups to set up in their towns.

Well done Bradley and Thynne. You are a fine example for other young people.

 Toad Population Limiters:  That’s who we are!


I wish to add congratulations to your group for your efforts in trying to stop the dreaded cane toad from coming to your parts.

My son, Bradley, aged 11 years and his friend, Thynne Macfarlane aged 12 years, formed the above group to encourage the residents of Mataranka to catch and dispose of the toads in backyards and the streets. Many members of the community participate and add their collection numbers on data sheets and submit to the boys every 3 months. Over 10000 toads have been caught in Mataranka since they began the project. The local council is supportive and also the Roper River Landcare Group. Cane toads arrived in Mataranka in 2000, and the boys efforts whilst may be small, are also helping with the greater effort.

Will try and make it to one of your busts one day, would like to be kept informed of dates etc.



Maryanne Lewis

Administrative Support Officer

Mataranka Health Clinic

 TPL numbers to date:  July - Dec 2006        3000+ toads collected and destroyed

                                    Jan - March 2007     661        "                "                    "

                                    April - June 2007      2546     "                "                    "



8. Five new vehicles with trailers from Lotterywest.

Thanks to a recent grant given to KTBs by Lotterywest two additional quad bikes, two Kabota’s and a second Trayback as well as trailers have been added to KTBs vehicle acquirements. Some of this equipment will be based at the KTB Research base on Nicholson Station. The addition of the two quad bikes and the trayback will enable KTBs to put two reconnaissance teams into the field in different areas at the one time. The Kabota’s will enable volunteer ‘mop-up’ teams toad busting large populations of toads in major creek and billabong areas to have the very heavy bags of toads transported on a rotation basis back to the main camp. They will also make it easier to move teams into areas not easily accessed by 4W/D vehicles. The addition of the new vehicles and trailers also means more people in the field.

The Kimberley Toad Busters would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to Faye and her wonderful team at Lotterywest.

9. $240,000 from State government for weekly toadbusting recurrent field costs lands in the KTB bank accounts.

KTBs would like to thank Minister Templeman and the West Australian government for expediting the settlement of toad busting funds recently granted to the KTBs. The timing of the settlement of the funds with the start of 2008 (and now well into the third year of weekend after weekend of toad busting by KTBs) will ensure the KTB volunteer efforts remain sustainable as they continue in their efforts to slow down and mitigate the impact of the cane toad as it makes its way towards the WA/NT border. The funds will also assist the KTBs in their continuing efforts to ensure that the Kimberley Community is fully alert and ready to deal with every toad that that does eventually make its way across the border into WA.

 A final big THANKYOU to Sandra Boulter and her organization Perth based Friends of the Kimberley Toad Busters for Sandy ’s tireless work in writing funding and other submissions. Unseen are the number of hours Sandy spends in contacting and talking to Ministers and other relevant people on behalf of the Kimberley Toad Busters. Sandy also spends many hours commuting to distant towns in the South West giving cane toad educational talks to various organizations and schools. Sandy and her growing support team are a very big component of why Kimberley Toad Busters is such a successful volunteer organization.

 Thank you Sandy .

 Lee Scott-Virtue.

If everybody became a Toad Buster.

The Toads would be Busted!

Email us at and

If everyone was a toad buster, the toads would be busted!