Remote wild Bullo and Victoria Rivers flow through spectacular freshwater gorges within the 1,200 square mile Bullo River Station. These gorges are home to frogs, reptiles, saratoga , sooty grunter and barramundi; and then finish their journey into huge tidal flows where species such as saltwater barramundi, threadfin salmon, mangrove jacks and jewfish thrive. Cane toads, in all stages of their life cycle, will kill these fish.
Dave Woods, KTBs recently appointed KTB field coordinator employee and cane toad reconnaissance expert says, “The KTBs call on scientists working in cane toad research, to please hurry up with finding a solution, or at the very least - finding a less labour intensive way to catch, kill and dispose of cane toads.”
The KTBs wonder just how many unknown Queensland species suffered extinction from cane toads? The Arnhem Land population of pygmy crocodiles at the Liverpool River was overrun by cane toads in 2000/2001 and their fate is unknown?
Bullo River Station owners, Franz and Marlee Ranacher need help to build pens to protect these crocodiles from cane toads, and to catch and kill cane toads. The Kimberley Toad Buster volunteers are working closely with Marlee and Franz to help them save the pygmy crocodile, and the pristine Bullo River Station ecosystems (and their dependent biodiversity) from the imminent ravages of the cane toad.
Lee Scott-Virtue, “The KTBs call on the NT and federal governments for their help and for private sponsorship to help the Bullo River Station owners face this difficult challenge .”
Cane toads will reach Bullo River Station through the upper reaches of creek systems flowing into the Victoria River north of the glorious and remote Pinkerton Ranges . This particular colonising corridor of the westwards moving cane toads (moving steadily west from Fancy Creek) is being fed primarily by toads crossing the Victoria River from their safe breeding grounds on the Commonwealth controlled Bradshaw Military Base, located on the northern banks of the Victoria River.
Sandy Boulter, “The KTBs call on the army to start taking responsibility for toadbusting on the land it controls. ”
Photo: Bullo River Station – just imagine smelly loud cane toads carpeting the homestead grounds, on an otherwise glorious desert evening…
As over 1,700 Kununurra based registered Kimberley Toad Buster award acknowledged volunteer toad predators enjoy their THIRD YEAR of WEEKLY hunting and gathering cane toads over 200,000 sq kms as a way of life, they are working hard to save species (dependent on the Kimberley ecosystems, including the pygmy crocodile) from extinction from cane toad invasion. Cane toads poison fauna that eats it, pollute ecosystems and use up food resources. The KTBs have caught and killed nearly 200,000 adult cane toads and countless millions of tadpoles and metamorphs (over 65,000 kgs of cane toad biomass out of our already threatened precious NT eco-systems) with the help of private donations, Lotterywest and the federal (and more recently the WA state) government. As at December 2007, the KTB toadbusting comprised an estimated 448,128 volunteer field hours! (and including support and administration hours it is probably closer to 800,000 volunteer hours!) At $20 an hour, this equates to $16,000,000 (sixteen million dollars) volunteer work value. Be nice to see our NT, WA and federal governments put this much effort into keeping cane toads out of the Kimberley and away from our already threatened fauna! See KTBs at www.canetoads.com.au
KTB MEDIA RELEASE 31 January 2008
(NB: See previous media releases at www.canetoads.com.au ) …For more information contact:
Lee Scott Virtue: Founder&President KTBs based in Kununurra&Nicholson Station 9168 7393/9168 7080
Marlee and Franz Ranecher: Bullo River Station 9168 7375; http://www.anglingadventures.com.au/bullo.html
Dr Adam Britton : Pygmy crocodile expert, Darwin, specialises in crocodile conservation; 61 (0)407 185182
Sandy Boulter : More photos, Media, Coordinator Perth based Friends of the KTBs: 0427 508 582
Army contact: Snr Enviro Manager Defence Support: Trish Gaff 08 8935 4679 (or Jamie Cord)