Kimberley Toad Buster's

News Letters

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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Prepared by Ruth Duncan, Kimberley Toad Busters Science and Education Program Co-ordinator.

March 13th 2010

Queen MaryG KTB Patron ORIC photo

Prepared by Ruth Duncan, Kimberley Toad Busters Science and Education Program Co-ordinator and Dean Goodgame KTB Web Master.

KTB Newsletter

This 33rd Kimberley Toad Busters’ Newsletter is produced by Kimberley Specialists In Research Inc in conjunction with Kimberley Toad Busters Inc. Kimberley Specialists, a founding member of the Kimberley Toad Busters, continues to support the campaign against the cane toad by supporting, raising funds and supporting cane toad scientific research. KTBs are a tax deductible entity. Please see our website for our direct donation facility or how to sponsor one of our research projects.

The Cane Toad is a Key Threatening Process to the Australian Nation

Declared by the Federal Government 12 April 2005





Cane toad busting update – cane toads discovered in Kununurra
Come along to the Caring for the Kimberley Community Forum 19-21st March 2010


Cane toad busting update – cane toads discovered in Kununurra

Cane toads are approaching Kununurra. From nightly toad busts it appears the current colonising frontline is just west of the Lake Argyle Road. Toads are now being regularly picked along the Lake Argyle Road between the Victoria Highway and Matchbox Creek. Ahead of the front line there are isolated ‘explorer’ toads beginning to arrive in Kununurra. Gravid females with eggs nearing maturity have been found at Egret Close on 7th March, and in Plum Court in Lakeside on the 14th February. Over the last two weeks there have been two toads found in Crossing Falls and two toads found in Packsaddle. An additional 2 toads were located at the Rodeo Grounds on 31st January and 3 toads have been located at the old barra ponds at Mud Springs in late January. On the 19th of January one toad was reported squashed on the corner of Fish Farm Road and the Victoria Hwy. There have been several unconfirmed reports of being squashed on the Victoria Hwy between Lake Argyle turn off and about 20 kms from Kununurra.

Wildlife Photographic Competition
Entry by Tara Rowe

The good news is regular checks of the gravel pits and standing water between Kununurra and the border has showed no signs or reports of breeding. While it is clear that the diligent and consistent removal by KTB of any evidence of cane toad breeding at the egg, tadpole and metamorph stage, as well as large adult toads has reduced population numbers it is likely the extended dry period has also helped to slow the advance of the toads.

The recent rains however ensure the toads will be on the move once again.It is now possible for odd explorer toads, ahead of the front line to be present in Kununurra. These toads are large, 10 – 17 cm in size along the body, and are likely to come into backyards attracted to lights at night. Toads have also been recorded near the WA border north of Kununurra in and around the Old Spirit Hill Homestead and airstrip area.

This now means that three KTB identified cane toad migration corridors have now reached WA. KTB will continue to monitor and toad bust other recognised migration routes still in the NT and making their way towards WA.

If you find what you think is a cane toad call Kimberley Toad Busters 08 9168 2576.
There is a large network of people able to help identify and humanely dispose of the cane toad!

Map showing where toads have been found and where the main colonising front is located!

Also, even more importantly keep an eye out for breeding (tadpoles and metamorphs). Two of the toads found near Kununurra recently have been females with eggs. If we are able to keep breeding to a minimum toad numbers around town will be kept low , and not 2,000 + per hectare as recorded in other areas of Australia!

Well done to the Bonner boys for their discovery of a male and female cane toad at the Kununurra rodeo grounds! Excellent work, especially as the female was full of eggs.

Well done to all other community members that have reported toads to either Kimberley Toad Busters or DEC.

Well done to the KTB field leaders including Scotty, Tim, Anthony and Anne who have been able to fill the gap while our field coordinator, Ben Scott-Virtue, has been overseas. For more information about cane toads and what to do in your backyard come along to the KTB Caring for the Kimberley

For more information about cane toads and what to do in your backyard come along to the KTB Caring for the Kimberley
Community Day Sunday 21st of March 9 – 4 at the Kununurra Youth Centre (Behind the Leisure Centre – next to the Oval).

Come along to the Caring for the Kimberley Community Forum

Friday 19th – Sunday 21st March 2010

Kununurra Youth Centre

Kimberley Toad Busters have been working hard to pull together scientists and speakers from across Australia to talk about the
impact of cane toads and fire on wildlife of the Kimberley and possible solutions. The event has been recognized by the UN
Convention on Biological Diversity as part of their International Year of Biodiversity celebrations. The event is a sequel to the
Cane Toad Forum held in Kununurra in 2005, it was after this forum the community decided to form Kimberley Toad Busters and
begin weekend toad busts 300 km away at Victoria River! It is time to come together once again and decide how we can
minimise the impact of cane toads on our wildlife and improve management of fire in the Kimberley.

Speakers for Friday 19th March and Saturday 20th March will include:

Dr. Jeremy Russell-Smith
Dr. Jemma Berry
Proffessor Rick Shine, Dr. Jonno Webb, Sam Price-Rees, Matthew Greeless and Ruchira Somerweea
Assoc. Proffessor Michael Tyler
Dr. Ben Phillips
Dr. Sean Doody

Proffessor Tony Peacock
Bonney Edwards

Barry Haase

Bushfires NT – Fire in the Kimberley
University of WA – Finding the chink in cane toad armour by understanding their DNA
University of Sydney – Impacts of Cane Toads on marsupials, Bluetounges, frogs and freshwater crocodiles and control options

History of Frogs in the Kimberley, Pheromones for cane toad control and euthanasia
Australian Wildlife Conservancy – Spread of cane toads in WA and EcoFire
Monash University – Impacts of Cane Toads on Native Predators and Implications for Extinction,
Recovery and Control
CRC Invasive Animals – Targeting the biggest threat of cane toads
Jaru elder – Importance of Bush Tucker in keeping indigenous culture strong
Federal Member of Parliament – Cane toad research and control

Sunday 21st of March is for all the community and families. The day begins with Howard James talking of the impact of fire, tourism and ways for improved
community driven fire management in the Kimberley. Ruth Duncan will provide information on the Kimberley Toad Busters ‘What’s in Your Backyard?’ biodiversity
program why community knowledge and observations of wildlife are important in the Kimberley. From 10 – 1 we will have a display of live native animals with Bill and
Corrin from Kimberley Reptiles as well as presentations about how to identify the animals in your own backyard, and how to care for your own reptiles as pets with Bob Cooper. From 1.30 - 4 is the cane toad information session – everything you need to know about cane toads including presentations from Ben and John from Kimberley Toad Busters, Stop the Toad Fund and FrogwatchNT.
Children’s activities will be run throughout the day including Follow the Jungle Trail competition. Come along for a chance to win a Champagne Diamond donated from Kimberley Fine Diamonds or a family pass to Crocosaurus Cove.
Lunch is available at the venue each day. We would like everyone to participate in the Forum – by either coming along or entering in one of the fantastic competitions! It is only with an informed community that there is any chance a decline in biodiversity of the Kimberley can be kept to a minimum.

Wildlife Photographic Competition
Entry by Barbara Sing

Wildlife photography and Environmental Art competitions

All entries will be displayed as part of the Forum and entry open to all.

  Wildlife Photographic Competition Environmental Art Exhibition
Open to all ages
Open (17 yrs +)
'What's in Your Backyard?' - Kimberley Wildlife
Threats to the Kimberley
Photo must have been taken in the Kimberley.
All creatures from the smallest invertebrate to
the largest crocodile are welcomed.

Open to all visual art.

No photographic art.


1st $1,500

2nd $1,000

3rd $500

1st $2,500

2nd $1,500

3rd $1,000

To enter

Send photo, name and contact details to:

08 91682576

Contact Lovell Gallery

08 91681781

Wildlife Photographic Competition
Entry by Nilusha Somaweera

Wildlife Photographic Competition
Entry by Ruchira Somaweera

In the next newsletter:

8 – 12th March 2010 – Kimberley Land Council Indigenous Ranger Muster

Over 40 KLC Rangers will be joined Kimberley Toad Busters for a intense week of toad busting and cane toad control.

19th – 21st March 2010 – Caring for the Kimberley Community Forum

Results from the forum and where to from here for cane toad and fire management in the Kimberley.

For more information on any of the articles contact:
Ruth Duncan: KTB Environmental Scientist 0400 767 650 / 08 9168 2576
Lee Scott-Virtue: KTB Founder & President 08 9168 7080
Ben Scott-Virtue: KTB Field Co-ordinator 08 9168 2576
John Cugley: KTB Administration Co-ordinator 08 9168 2576
Mary Anne Winton: KTB Indigenous Coordinator 0488 693 642
All donations are tax deductible.

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