Kimberley Toad Buster's
The aim of this website is to document the Kimberley Toad Busters fight to stop the cane toad crossing into Western Australia and to provide the Western Australian Community some understanding of the enormous efforts (and contributions) that can be made by unpaid volunteers!
Prepared by John Cugley, Kimberley Toadbusters Administration Co-ordinator.
KIMBERLEY TOAD BUSTERS NEWSLETTER No. 31
The Cane Toad is a Key Threatening Process to the Australian Nation
Declared by the Federal Government 12 April 2005
7th December 2009
IF EVERYONE WAS A TOADBUSTER
Toad Busting Around Matilda Creek
As many of our readers are aware Kimberley Toadbusters in conjunction with the DEC has been involved with the fight against the cane toad on the Eastern shore of Lake Argyle since February. Back then access involved taking a boat out from the boat ramp at Lake Argyle tourist village travelling at times a couple hours in order to make landfall on Argyle's Eastern edge. Great thanks has to go to both JJJ and Steve Sharpe for providing the necessary vessels for these undertakings particularly when the first two trips yielded a 'no toad' result. We were the first ones to ascertain toad movement down Matilda creek not to mention the first organisation to catch these wayward amphibians as they hopped towards what can only be deemed a toads 'promised' land.
Obviously, since February we have continued to have an active presence accessing this area from both Golden Gate, Matilda itself as well as monitoring the Hicks creek system for the first signs of toad habitation. Whilst a recent report stipulated a much larger area, toads have only been found in isolated numbers from the end of Golden Gate Rd where it meets Lake Argyle to roughly three kilometres to the North of the mouth of Hicks Creek. This is approximately a 16km area of foreshore.
Lake Argyle always has been an area K.T.B has dubbed an area of 'great concern' with efforts of many volunteers focusing along the many feeder systems running into its Eastern shore. These toadbusts yielding at times worrying results(the greatest number of toads taken in a single night out that way was 137 adults!) whilst on others like the trip Ben Scott-Virtue our Field coordinator ran on the 10th of this month, 29 adult toads were taken. Of these 22 were large gravid(egg bound) females.
Whilst access to the Eastern foreshore of Argyle will become increasingly difficult as the wet rolls in, K.T.B is very fortunate to have our environmental scientist, Ruth Duncan based there perched on a hilltop (She has one of the most amazing offices with horizon eating views!) As has been the case for most of this year, it means the data collected and informed academically backed information garnered will continue to be relevant for not just the community at large but academia too. As in all areas like this given the cane toads propensity for travel, it will continue to be closely monitored.
Last but not least, Rachira Somaweera, a student of renowned scientist professor Rick Shine will continue his ground breaking research in the habitats and life cycle of our fresh water crocodile(johnstoni crocodilus). This includes the impact of the cane toad on its population. His research is to be conducted over a three year period and will be the most informed to date. K.T.B has, and will continue to provide data on toad density in the Matilda area with the aim of gathering a greater understanding about the impact the cane toad continues to have on our native fauna.
'What’s in your backyard?’ Biodiversity Update
There has been much biodiversity action since Newsletter 30, including two hardcore biodiversity surveys conducted by our Year 10 work experience students, SWEK school holiday program survey and play-doh cane toads, Clontarf Bushrangers and numerous biodiversity surveys from Knapp Springs to Lake Argyle Islands, please see the next newsletter for full reports. The most recent events have been two visits to Wyndham District High School to see all students from Pre-Primary to Year 7. Students were provided with education and activities on how to identify Cane Toads from our native frogs and impact Cane Toads will have on the food web in the Kimberley. The children at Wyndham were brilliant, the toads are in for some trouble. We look forward to seeing them on future toadbusts and results from their ‘What’s in your Backyard?’ biodiversity surveys. Many thanks to Liz Cox for organising the Wyndham events.
The ‘What’s in your Backyard?’ Biodiversity Kits are flying off the shelf faster than they are being made! Jeanette Buckland and Norma Wainright have stepped in to help with making the species ID cards for the Kits. Absolute angels. Species ID cards are now complete for all frogs and reptiles, with fish, birds and mammals nearing completion. Please let us know if you are interested in having a Kit at home to help with your biodiversity surveys. If there is enough demand, the Kits will have to be professionally printed. Norma, Jeanette and myself will bail up eventually, 1 laminator has already!
Events coming up:
Monday 23rd and Tuesday 24th November
Afternoons of Thursday 26th and Friday 27th November
Sunday 22rd November
Kimberley Toadbusters is going to become a recognised part of the school curriculum for future years, we hope so.
What Has KTB Seen While Out Busting
Photos taken by John Cugley
KTB in the Media!
Along with several other acticles and interviews from others, it keeps the topic of cane toads in front of the general community of Australia and the World.
A Trip Report
Toad Bust 31 October 2009
(Photos by Ben Scott-Virtue)
Arthur Bijl will be arriving at KTB soon to continue the studies start by Jordy Groffen.
Toad busting, there are busting activities happening every second evening and every weekend. Whether you have a few hours to spare or you want to go on an overnighter there is a busting activity for you, your family and friends. Just call or email John or Ben who are only be too willing to assist you.
Saturday mornings (till Christmas) out the front of Coles passing on information about Cane Toads to the community
19th to 21st March 2010 there will be a forum in Kununurra looking at cane toads and other issues facing the Kimberley. Contact Lee Scott-Virtue for more details
For more information on any of the articles contact: