Cane toads

A heartfelt cry from the Kununurra Community to the Nation.

We will Stop the Cane Toads getting into WA!


The Kimberley Toad Busters are the only truly totally volunteer group
on the ground (since the 10th Sept. 2005) trying to stop the cane toad
from getting across the Western Australian border. To date we have
largely met all field expenses from community fund raising efforts, local government input and community donations, the
ongoing support of Biodiversity Protection Inc (and recently a comittment of $79,000 from the Federal Government) .
Despite the State Government committment of half a million dollars towards the cane toad fight, this local volunteer
group has not received one dollar of this money. Eight months later this volunteer group is sustainable only because of
local community financial input and the belief that we have provided, for the first time in 70 years, an ability to 'hold' the
cane toad front line while government and scientists find a 'biological' solution to the relentless march of the cane toad.

Papers From the 2005 Cane Toad Forum held in Kununurra

Approaches for monitoring effects of cane toads on aquatic fauna - fishes and invertebrates

Andrew W. Storey

School of Animal Biology (M092), The University of Western Australia

35 Stirling Hwy , Crawley , WA 6009

Email: Ph: (08) 6488 1482 Fax: (08) 6488 1029,


A recent ecological risk assessment to predict the likely extent of impacts of cane toads on the fauna of Kakadu National Park (Kakadu) identified species of aquatic invertebrates and fish potentially at threat. However, few studies have detailed effects of cane toads on aquatic invertebrates and fish, with most information either observational or taken from incidental monitoring programs. Even in Kakadu, the rapid and extensive invasion of cane toads into the park, including into designated ‘control’ sites has complicated interpretation of their impact, with the established monitoring programs relying on detecting changes relative to pre-invasion baseline conditions. These interpretations are then further confounded by the inherent variability of tropical ecosystems.

With the approach of cane toads to Western Australia, the opportunity exists to establish a BACI (Before-After: Control-Impact) monitoring program in the East Kimberley, by selecting appropriate ‘control’ sites (i.e. located ahead of the advancing front or in inaccessible refuges), and by building on established baseline data sets.

Quantitative data on fishes and aquatic macroinvertebrates have been collected over the last five years, using standard methods, as part of various projects in the East Kimberley . River systems sampled, from east to west, include Sandy Creek , Keep River , Knox Creek, Lake Kununurra , lower Ord River , Parry Lagoon, and the Dunham, upper Chamberlain and Pentecost rivers. Data were applied to a range of outcomes, including determination of habitat preferences, environmental flow requirements, drought response, food web analysis and baseline monitoring for future irrigation developments. These data provide a solid foundation upon which a more comprehensive baseline may be built, and against which future changes associated with possible invasion by cane toads may be assessed.

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