Cane Toads


A heartfelt cry from the Kununurra Community to the Nation now fighting to stop the cane toad from crossing into WA since Sept. 2004.

We will Stop the Cane Toads getting into WA!

Toads kill goannas.
W.A. Liberals fund the KTBs.
Kimberley's last chance.
KTBs at 2008 Perth royal show.
KTB research male call on toad traps.
W.A. liberals pledge funds for KTBs.
Mary G becomes patron of the KTBs.
Cane toad 73rd birthday in OZ / Fauna killed by toads.
Cane toads coming to Ramsar wetlands.
Toads 20 klm. from W.A./N.T. border.
KTB management plan released.
Toads 25 klm. from W.A. state border.
Parasites catching up to the cane toad front line.
Minister goes toad busting.
Toads may decimate rare pygmy crocodiles.
Where are the toads.




19 June 2008






Our Governments Can Hinder the Cane Toad Invasion! If They Will…


Westerley Moving Cane Toad Front as merged into six corridors at May 2008.

 It is only the KTBs who are undertaking reconnaissance and catching toads across all six corridors.

 Cane toads will come through the back door cross country through corridors 4, 5 and 6 into the Bungles and north on to Lake Argyle. Next wet season is critical toadbusting time in these corridors

Parasite Front Line

For years the KTBs have been finding populations of front line toads that looked sick and wasted. KTBs designed a parasite project and supported our researcher Jordy Groffen to find out what colonising toads are infected with parasites. Previous research had suggested that the parasites are in toads not closer than 20 years behind the front line. The KTB results were released by the KTBs at the Darwin Vertebrate Pests Conference last week. The 54 sample sites show that parasite infected toads are less than 2 years behind the front line toads, and the parasite front line is behind the colonising cane toad front line, shown on the map to the left. KTBs have just been granted a permit to examine native frogs for these parasites, to ascertain similarities or differences with the parasites infecting the cane toads. Parasites may hold one of the answers to slowing and decimating colonising front line cane toads.


KTBs New Toadbusting DVD 2008 release showing how they have spent three years of


920,000 volunteer hours

At the cane toad forum and round table held in Darwin last week following the Invasive Species CRC sponsored National Vertebrate Pests Conference, the on the ground community groups catching toads and following the cane toad fronts met with the cane toad research scientists to find we are all facing problems arising from one fundamental issue:

The lack of national leadership in the cane toad campaign

There are many who put up their hand to lead but are simply not good at it, or those that are good at it are not putting up their hands,” SrDel Collins toadbuster, Kimberley identity, KTB Board Member and treasurer and acting secretary, Kununurra community nurse, Car Rally veteran, Kununurra Hotel bouncer Friday nights for charity.

The KTBs believe that Effective National Cane Toad Leadership might lead to:

  • National Cane Toad Threat Abatement Plan developed as a Matter of Urgency

“You would think that this would have been done in response to the declaration in April 2005 by the federal government that the cane toad poses a national threat to Australia’s biodiversity,” Sarah Brett KTB Board Member, Kununurra veterinarian, Kimberly Wildlife Centre.

  • Cane Toad Management Plan for the Kimberley developed as a Matter of Urgency (toads are only 25kms from WA/NT border)

“What these documents would mean is the objectives could be set and funding applied much more effectively than it presently is”, Sandy Boulter. “From Rob Capon and Andrew Hayes from the Institute of Molecular Bioscience at the University of Queensland, we heard of exciting results from new cane toad research into the bufo toxin but sadly and surprisingly that the research grant for this line of research runs out in 6 weeks,” she added.

  • National Cane Toad Coordinating Office for the collection and dissemination of cane toad information; and to develop communication between everyone working on this invasion
  • Regular and open, accounting and reporting of all funding outcomes
  • Community Groups active at and knowledgeable about the west, central and south colonising front lines being invited to sit beside agency representatives on State and National cane toad policy and recommendatory, bodies and committees

“What this could lead to is best use of each cane toad dollar and nationally coordinated assistance to on ground community groups. This office must be established as soon as possible while awaiting the abatement and management plans identified above”, Lee Scott-Virtue President KTBs, Field Coordinator KTBs.

The Kimberley Toad Busters have run their enormous campaign as volunteers for nearly three years. They have been calling for Leadership, and State and National Coordination of the Cane Toad Issue, and for funding for KTB administrative help and staff support.

When the federal government declared in April 2005 that the cane toad is a national threat to Australia’s biodiversity, there was hope that leadership, properly resourced long term research and appropriately resourced on ground action might follow. While it is acknowledged that there has been some action on two of these needs, it is a lack of well informed government leadership leading to a lack of good communication channels between everyone working to save Australia’s already threatened biodiversity from cane toads, that is benefitting the cane toad as much as Australian ecosystems it is presently invading,” Sandy Boulter Kimberley Toad Busters Board Member.

Last year, in response to attending meetings in Perth at their own cost and time, and providing the written follow up submissions written in their own time as requested by the WA State government, the KTB volunteers called for a State Cane Toad Co-ordinator based equally in Kununurra and Perth with specific State focussed objectives. The KTBs found it affirming when the calls made at the Darwin Round Table from cane toad campaigners all around Australia so closely echoed their own calls to the WA government.

Kununurra people are doers and are willing to get their hand dirty if it will do the job”, Terry Hunt of Nina’s Jewellery, Kununurra who finance publication of the KTB education brochures.As KTB Sandy Boulter reported to the Darwin Cane Toad Workshop on 13 June, “KTB leaders live this sentiment and know that the KTB volunteerism model so successful for a rural community such as Kununurra relies heavily on letting volunteers be in charge of their own efforts, while being appropriately supported and celebrated”.

Jeff Hayley of Triple J Tours Kununurra, KTB supporter, donor and champion says on the KTBs recently released toadbusting DVD that the indigenous and non-indigenous communities are engaged together on this campaign and that there has been great indigenous support for and participation in the KTB campaign. Papers from USA economists Stephanie and Steven Shwiff presented at the Vertebrate Pests Conference suggest that economic modelling of financial support for community groups such as the Kimberley Toad Busters could demonstrate how benefits from funding on ground community campaigns such as the KTB campaign can have wide ranging flow on economic benefits in other areas of the Kununurra economy. The social dividends of the campaign are widely acknowledged.

See KTBs at

Use of the photos in this media release must be authorised by the KTBs and the photographer acknowledged

For more information contact:

DVD: Ring Sandy Boulter 0427 508 582 for a copy; KTB Board Member and Perth based Friends of the KTBs

Stephanie and Steven Shwiff: Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance Texas A&M University – Commerce, Commerce, TX 75429, USA

Terry Hunt: Nina’s Jewellery, Kununurra 08 9168 2646

Lee Scott-Virtue: Away in Field until 26 June 2008

Rob Capon and Andrew Hayes : Institute of Molecular Bioscience at the University of Queensland