Border divides mean nothing to East Kimberley community groups wanting to help Northern Territory landowners fight the cane toads off their land. “The Kimberley Community is not prepared to accept governments’ self fulfilling prophecy that there is nothing we can do to stop the cane toad from crossing into Western Australia ” said Dean Goodgame of Kimberley Specialists .
NT Aboriginal and non Aboriginal landowners have welcomed the offer of aid by Kununurra community volunteer leaders trained in cane toad hunting and gathering. Once again Kimberley Specialists in Research is seizing the initiative on weekend of 1-2 October, this time in a four pronged attack:
Second volunteer Toad Busting Training session at Victoria River ;
- An assault, by galvanized aboriginal community members from both sides of the border, against cane toad incursions beyond the cane toad front at Fitzroy Station/general area around Coolibah Crocodile Farm;
- Helping pastoral stations that are now suffering cane toad incursions between the Victoria River and the Western Australian Border; and
- Investigation from boats of cane toads on the banks of the Victoria River both East and West of Timber Creek.
“We are still waiting for governments to catch up with the community but the cane toads are not, and the first early rains for the wet season have arrived. The Kimberley is running out of time to contain cane toad populations in dry season billabongs and other aquatic systems. We need to undertake an immediate strategy of attack that will enable government and community volunteers to assess just how we ‘stop’ the cane toad front from crossing into the Kimberley in 2006, ” said Lee Scott-Virtue.
Kimberley Specialists in Research has the volunteers army signed up, with the help of Northern Frogwatch knows approximately where the toad front and incursions are, and has received invitations onto NT Lands. However, we are a volunteer group relying heavily on local donations. We URGENTLY need resources for our volunteers, including fuel and vehicles, traps, nets, torches, gloves, bags and freezers. Little if any, on ground help has been forthcoming from government, so we will be on our own at the front again on the first October weekend doing what we have to and paying for it ourselves.
“After Kimberley Specialists remarkable Cane Toad Forum held in Kununurra in March 2005, which brought all the cane toad scientists and experts together, resulted in the listing by the federal government of the cane toad as a Key Threatening Process to the Nation, the establishment of the Stop The Toad Foundation and a government commitment of $500,000 to the community, there has been a deafening bureaucratic silence about the urgency that energises the Kununurra Community,” bemoaned Lee Scott-Virtue. “What seems to be happening is an overwhelming focus on all agencies involved, government and non-government, to work at being perceived to be working together, rather than actually acknowledging that they are so under-resourced that there is actually very little work actually happening on the ground”, said Lee .
On the ground we have:
Natural Resources Management Ministerial Council
(Responsible national body)
Federal Department of Environment and Heritage
(Cane Toad Threat Abatement Plan responsibility)
Minister for Defence
(Army responsible for Bradshaw land in cane toad front)
(On whose lands the toad front is presently positioned)
Director NT Parks and Wildlife Commission
(Responsible for NT National Parks in cane toad front)
The toads which managed to find themselves a water source and survived the present dry season have matured to wreak havoc with their eggs.
These surviving water sources are at their minimum Now and so are the surviving toads.
Rain is Coming and if the eggs are laid in great numbers, then the real chance of resisting this years’ spread across the Victoria River into the Kimberley will be lost and the spread just that much harder to contain next year.
THE EAST KIMBERLEY COMMUNITY CAN DO IT
WE JUST NEED RESOURCES FOR OUR VOLUNTEERS!!!!
Sandy Boulter Volunteer for Kimberley Specialists
for Lee Scott-Virtue and Dean Goodgame
Phone: 08 91682576
Fax: 08 91681039
IF EVERYONE WAS A TOADBUSTER
THE TOADS WOULD BE BUSTED!!!
Become a participant in the fight against the Cane Toad