Simply put the Kimberley Toad Busters are a multi-cultural independent unpaid volunteer group of individuals and local (Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal) groups located in the East Kimberley (primarily from the town of Kununurra and now registering over 700 members) who decided to spend volunteer time attempting to not only ‘try’ and stop the cane toad from crossing into the Kimberley, but also to study and collect any information that might provide more insight into the behavioural patterns of the cane toad.
As part of the process of formalising Kimberley Toad Busters as an incorporated community non-profit group Kimberley Toad Busters has established 8 working groups to undertake the task of continuing the ‘infrastructure’ already set up by Kimberley Specialists in Research. These include-
- The Research Advisory Group. Leader: Ade Meredith.
- The Trapping Strategy Group. Leader: Chris Spurr
- The Safety Field Operational Group. Leader: Del Collins.
- Operational Field Strategy Group. Lee Scott-Virtue.
- The Cane Toad ‘Educational’ Planning Group. Leaders: Sarah Brett; Ronnie Atkins and Chris Spurr.
- The Field Equipment Advisory Group. Leader: Dean Goodgame
- The Euthanasia control Group. Leader: Del Collins.
- The Kimberley Toad Busting Fund Raising Group. Leaders. Sandra Boulter and Lee Scott-Virtue.
The ‘Research Advisory’ group under the leadership of Ade Meredith has been set up within the management structure of Kimberley Toad Busters to collate all data collected in the field. Ade has contacted several leading scientists and put in place data recording forms that optimise the information our volunteer group collect in the field. It also ensures that the Kimberley Toad Busters are collecting data that can be used by members of the scientific fraternity. Kimberley Toad Busters has also been approached by several post graduate students work with KTB’s on cane toad related research projects
More recently Kimberley Toad Busters has been approached by over-sea’s volunteer student organisations to become involved in the actual field exercises for periods of up to ten days. The first of these will take place in September 2006.
As a volunteer group we are still evolving but the dedication of the Kimberley community ensures that the Kimberley Toad Busters fight against the cane toad will sustain.
At present our community membership comprises just on 180 trained toad buster leaders (Aboriginal and non Aboriginal) and over 400 members who have put up their hands to join the volunteer fight at the cane toad front.
On-going reports from these groups will be produced on the Community website and in the Kimberley Toad Buster Newsletters.
Kimberley Toad Busters is becoming Incorporated! Why?
Kimberley Toad Busters is now a registered community group and is currently in the process of incorporating. The decision to incorporate was made on the basis that the volunteer people actually fighting on the ground need to raise funding that could be channeled directly to the toad busters to cover field running costs and equipment. We have been disappointed in the lack of funding coming from the Government funded body and from State and Federal bodies. At present Kimberley Toad Busters is largely funded by Kimberley Specialists and by other private business and individuals.
Recent Federal funding of $79,000 (still to come) and a previous contribution of $15,000 from the state institution Conservation and Land Management is the only funding received by the Kimberley Toad Busters other than that received from local business and individuals. $47,000 of safety equipment and trap materials from Biodiversity Protection Inc based in Perth has enabled the volunteers to work more efficiently and safely in the field. With the incorporation of the Kimberley Toad Busters volunteer group we are hoping to be able to attract a lot more funding as well as sponsorship to assist in the fight against the cane toad.
In order to make the Kimberley Toad Busters volunteer group and its toad busting activities sustainable for the long term funding is urgently required to cover simple things such as fuel and food. Biodiversity Protection has just recently contributed $10,000 to meet fuel and food costs. This is the first funding contribution outside of state government) that has actually addressed the problem of moving volunteers over 600 km (round trip) into the field to fight the cane toad problem and helping to assist in the actual fuel and food costs.
All volunteers are dedicated to donating their own time however having to travel over 600 kilometers every weekend to fight the cane toad is costing the Kimberley Toad Busters around $2,500 to $4,000 a month in food and fuel.
Kimberley Toad Busters need help (directly) to assist us to meet the expenses incurred in fighting the cane toad.
If you would like to become a member of the Kimberley Toad Busters or would like to become involved in some of the other activities (fund raising as an example) please contact Lee Scott-Virtue or Sarah Brett for further information. See www.canetoads.com.au
To see how you can direct funding to the on-ground fight to keep the cane toad out of Western Australia.
Federal Govt. Funding!
The announcement of a $79,000 funding grant to Kimberley Toad Busters by the Federal Government is a welcome acknowledgement of the East Kimberley’s dedication to keep the cane toad out of Western Australia. For the Kimberley Toad Busters, Many of whom have been contributing out of their own pockets to maintain the toad busting momentum, the announcement has come at a critical moment. State funding towards our cause continues to be slow in coming. However the generosity of local community business and members such as Kimberley Specialists in Research, Triple J, Alligator Airways, Biodiversity Protection, Kimberley Diamond Company and Rogers Machinery and various community individuals has been instrumental in keeping the momentum going.
Donations of Equipment/time/funding to the Kimberley Toad Busters! Where has this come from?
Without the assistance of the following local people and organisations the volunteer Toad Busters would not have been able to achieve half of what they have accomplished.
- The in-kind organisational and financial contribution towards the running costs by Kimberley Specialists directors Lee Scott-Virtue and Dean Goodgame.
- The in-kind organisational and financial contribution towards the running costs by Kimberley Vet Centre and Kimberley Wildlife Refuge director Sarah Brett.
- The donation and use of a 21 seater bus and one tank of fuel (plus a trailer when we need it) from Triple J, a local Tour Operator. Their in-kind contribution over 24 Kimberley Toad Busting volunteer group exercises has reached a staggering $28,000. And this commitment is on-going without a time constraint. A previous donation of nearly $8,700 from Triple J in 2004 towards the running costs of the Kununurra Cane Toad Forum supports the ongoing commitment of Triple J towards stopping the cane toad.
- 1.100 in-kind from Alligator Airways for an aerial reconnaissance from the mouth of the Vioctorial River system to the Victoiral River rRoad House.
- A $350 donation from Kimberley Kohen towards food costs.
- Del Collins purchase of a dual seater 4W/D Hilux specifically to take small teams to the cane toad front.
- Financial contribution of $100 by SEEKS to assist in running costs for the Kimberley Toad Busters and a private donation from Richard Lethbridge President of SEEKS.
- Personal donations of $25 each to help meet running costs by Liz Kirkby and Richard Lethbridge.
- A $15,000 dollar contribution by Conservation and Land Management in November 2004 to assist with the funding shortfall.
- Biodiversity Protections contribution of $67,000 towards safety field equipment and trap.
- Kimberley Diamond Company recent donation of a Leaf Blower and freezer to the Kimberley Toad Busters volunteer efforts.
- Phil Rogers from a local company ‘Rogers Machinery’ has donated a water transfer pump (such as those used by the fire brigade) to assist the Toad Busters deal with the Metamorphs and tadpoles.
- Nadeen Lovell of Diversion Gallery has established a raffle of one of her original paintings to raise money for the day to day running of the Kimberley Toad Busting efforts in the field.
- Bruce Russell has financed his own Kimberley Toad Busting volunteer busting involvement and various items of equipment on every toad bust.
- Individual cash donations towards the fuel costs (see ‘Sponsors’ on the web site).
Nobody is too young or too old in this fight to stop the cane toad from crossing into Western Australia .
If you don’t have a vehicle we can always find a seat on the Triple J Toad Busting Bus.
IF EVERYONE BECAME A TOAD BUSTER.
THE TOADS WOULD BE BUSTED!
Kimberley Specialists@westnet.com.au or Lee or Dean 91682576
Or contact Sarah Brett 0407691229