In 2015 Kimberley Toad Busters were approached by Jessica Hiscox, a Zoology Technician from Massey University, New Zealand to ask whether we would be able to send a couple of hundred cane toads for their students to use for dissection instead of using native frogs.
“Basically every year across two of our campuses we do frog dissections. Currently we order in leopard frogs from America but I am trying to find alternatives to this as we have had issues with what they have been preserved in and also the sustainability aspect of getting these animals. We are trying to reduce our ecological impact and using cane toads will mean less transport and will be using a pest instead of a purpose bred animal” explained Jessica Hiscox Technician – Zoology, Massey University.
Lee Scott-Virtue, Founder & President of KTB commented “the project of sending toads as far away as New Zealand was not without its problems. We had to find a way to transport the toads, work within quarantine restrictions, find the best method to preserve a dead toad and then work out how to store 200 plus dead toads
Dean Goodgame, KTB Co-Founder went on to say “the importance of Massey University using cane toads for science may be the impetus needed to get Universities across Australia and other countries to use cane toads instead of breeding frogs for laboratory purposes”. Dean added that a “demand by Universities for cane toads would be a useful tool in helping community toad busting groups to reduce cane toad population numbers, and in turn reduce indirect and direct impacts of cane toad on native biodiversity including native frogs”.
Toads were frozen in individual ziplock bags, then stored in Styrofoam boxes lined with ice bricks. The challenge of storing the toads in large Styrofoam boxes was met by Tropical Forestry Services in Kununurra who offered the use of their large freezer to store the toads prior to being transported to Brisbane. On arrival in Brisbane the toads were then irradiated, refrozen and then shipped to their final destination, New Zealand.
While the process of getting toads to New Zealand took some time and effort the toads arrived in good order and without a hitch. Jessica emailed photographs of the first dissections and stated that all the toads dissected had really clear structures, “really tidy – it worked beautifully”!
|For further information contact Lee Scott-Virtue, President & founder on 0891791498 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo’s by Dean Goodgame and KTB.
|If everyone became a toad buster
The toads would be busted!