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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Volunteer CANE TOAD Training & Toad Busting NEWSLETTER No.3

By Lee Scott-Virtue

The Cane Toad is a Key Threatening Processto the Australian Nation

Federal Government 12 April 2005

  Become a participant in the fight against the Cane Toad

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If you would like to put your name down for 'Cane Toad Busting Training' and ‘Volunteering’   please contact:

Lee or Dean at or on 91682576

Sara Brett on 91691229

CANE TOAD BUSTING volunteer weekend held on the 15 th and 16 th October.

Due to intermittent rain over the weekend of the 15 th and 16 th our Toad Busting activities were confined mainly to the area between the Coolibah Crocodile Farm and the Victoria River .


We were hosted by Bluey (owner of the crocodile farm) at his camping area perched above the Victoria River. The wet conditions meant we could not move the Triple J bus so all activities were undertaken on foot, with 9 Toad Busters covering an area of around 5 square km throughout the night.

53 fully mature toads were picked up, 19 females and 34 males.

The average size, measured from head to toe, was around 24cm. One male toad measured 30cm. The 19 females were assessed to contain at least 30,000 eggs each. This means the potential of 570,000 potential eggs collectively.


On the Saturday the team worked from the late afternoon through to just after midnight. Line searches were used along the camping ground area, with several sweeps undertaken throughout the evening. The team was then split into two groups, with one group sweeping the dirt road leading from the river to the Crocodile Farm. The second group covered the creek line leading to the farm and also did a sweep across the grassy slope. When the team came together at the Crocodile Farm, line searches were then undertaken around the Farms effluent ponds and across paddocks and tracks.

A sweep of the Victoria River bed was made to the SW for a distance of 1 km.

Sunday morning was spent looking at CALM traps to check for Cane Toad catch and to monitor the cage water supply and working order. 25 traps were checked over the weekend.

Based on a report received, Joe Creek, 20 km north of Timber Creek was surveyed for egg and tadpole incursion.


  • Male Toads dominated females.
  • The majority of males were found near the Victoria River section and/or between the river and the Crocodile Farm. Most females were found closer to and near the billabongs on the farm.
  • The male call along the bed of the Victoria River was observed for most of the night. This call seemed to stop around 2am and resumed for about an hour just before dawn.
  • The majority of the cane toads caught were found in cleared patches, on vehicle track’s, cattle pads or native fauna corridors. No cane toads were found in heavily grassed areas.
  • All the toads were mature, indicating first generation and definitely ready to breed.
  • Dozens of dead Kites and Crows were found scatted throughout the farm. Up to 6 were located under one tree. 1 very large goanna carcass was located near the billabongs. The owner of the crocodile Park also reported some mysterious deaths amongst his freshwater crocodiles and commented that he was sure that all deaths were related to the cane toad.
  • The checking of CALM traps indicated that input and assistance from the volunteer group could become an integral component of the CALM Toad Trapping strategy.


Once again Triple J Tours provided a 21 seater bus and a tank of fuel for the exercise. Kimberley Specialists provided food and extra fuel, camping equipment etc. Various individuals contributed their own time and input into the exercise. For information on the Community input that actually drives the volunteer movement see


 This is an overview of what this community perceives and how we (The Community) can focus and put in place a strategy that focus’s on a strategic plan that does and can fight the Cane Toad invasion into Western Australia .

 Communication/education/ accountability/responsibility/sustainability: The keywords to success!  

Community Driven Action. (Currently Facilitated by Kimberley Specialists).


Local volunteer Groups

Aboriginal Communities.

Pastoral Stations

Fishing Industry

Local Business.

Independent Tourism Operators.


Tourism Industry (generic).



  • We are having another major Volunteer Cane Toad Busting Training exercise this weekend 22 nd and 23 rd at the Victoria River Roadhouse.  Graeme Sawyer from Northern Frogwatch will be the main educator for the formal afternoon training. We will also be undertaking a boat exercise on the Victoria River and using small groups of trained Toad Busters to actively work in areas of known cane toad activity. The training exercise will primarily take place at the Victoria River Road House but trained Toad Busters will also undertake field work at a number of other designated areas.
  • An aerial reconnaissance of dry season permanent waterholes is being funded by Alligator Airways and it is anticipated that this exercise will take place sometime towards the end of this month.
  • If any trained volunteers with their own vehicles are available over the next couple of weeks/months and would prefer to work closer to home we need people to travel to various Stations and Communities that have requested information and traps.  This would also involve checking waterholes for potential Toad Eggs, Tadpoles and Toadlets. We are still waiting on funding but will endeavor to meet fuel and other costs for anyone who needs assistance.
Toad Busting activities will now be taking place on a weekly basis and these will be undertaken by trained Toad Busters. If anyone is able to participate in any of the Volunteer Toad Busting activities outlined above please contact Lee or Dean on 91682576 or on email