Cane Toad Detection in the Kimberley
By John Drill,
representative of the Gija Language Group, Kimberley .
John voluntarily put in his time as a representative of Aboriginal people, and to express his own personal feelings about what should be done to stop the cane toads from crossing the border into the Kimberley .
The border check point located on the Victoria Highway can be moved to the east side of the Duncan Road turn off to provide check point service to vehicles using the Victoria Highway and Duncan Roads. (This is a sentiment shared by many Kimberley residents).
Further roads into the Kimberley region from the NT are the Buchanan Highway joining the Duncan Road for access to Halls Creek. A checkpoint at Nicholson Station would be necessary to check cane toad entry by this road.
The Tanami Road provides entry the Kimberley area from Alice Springs and into Halls Creek. This area may be protected by a checkpoint located at Rabbit Flats.
Trained sniffer would be used at each checkpoint to allow easy detection of cane toads in vehicles, caravans, trailers and loads of goods and produce on trucks. Dogs would use smell to detect toads, a far more effective means of detection than visual inspection.
There is a possibility that cane toads may enter the Kimberley via ships transporting goods from Darwin . Sniffer dogs may be utilised at ports in the Kimberley to inspect any goods being unloaded from ships.
Education of Indigenous people in Communities in the Kimberley and Northern Territory about cane toads is recommended to ensure that they know about the dangers that cane toads present for native fauna. Specific people in each Community will need to be trained to identify cane toads from native frogs and toads. Those persons or ‘trainee rangers’ can then be made primarily responsible for the humane killing of cane toads collected by Community people. Any native frogs or toads can be released. This will ensure that Communities are aware of cane toads present in their areas and will collect them and have a local person or ranger to give them to for identification and destroying.
John Drill and Kathy Bertola.