How to become a Kimberley Toad Buster Volunteer?
Toad busting in the field can be anything from working at night picking up large toads or working during the day netting eggs, tadpoles and spraying early stage metamorphs.
||Registering to become a Kimberley Toad Buster is a simple matter of either joining us in the field for a toad bust, helping out at either our Kununurra or Nicholson Depots in a number of ways from administration/general office work/funding submissions/ filling out insurance forms/field data sheets for volunteers/processing toads/ helping to prepare meals for toad busters going into the field/packing field kits/cleaning and packing vehicles/repairing equipment/. The list is endless.
You can also assist in taking our education packages to schools anywhere in Australia (link) helping to raise donations for our cause encouraging individuals, schools and other community groups to participate in the KTB program “What’s in your Backyard?” and our “Iconic Species” monitoring program.
Ways to do this?
• Ring or email John Cugley or Ben Scott-Virtue at our KTB Office on 08 91682576 or Lee Scott-Virtue or Dean Goodgame on 08 91687080 at our Nicholson Depot to let us know when you might be arriving in the Kimberley and what you would like to help out with.
• If you are self sufficient and travelling to the Kimberley for a holiday and you want to toad bust KTB can assist you with fuel costs once you arrive in Kununurra and with food costs while you are in the field.
• You can help by organising toad busts into the field (food preparation, equipment checks, packing vehicles and cleaning after toad busts, euthanizing and autopsying toads and recording and collating data). Help to run the KTB Depots (answering phones and general office stuff, preparing educational material, making sure appropriate insurance forms are filled in by volunteers going into the field, vehicle checks and cleaning). Be an educator (by speaking to schools and promoting the KTB community driven native biodiversity recording and monitoring program “What’s in your backyard? And our “Iconic” native species monitoring program).
• Once you are in Kununurra you can decide if you want to be in the field toad busting and other field activities such as biodiversity recording and monitoring or helping out in other ways.
• If you would like to help out with activities that assist in the general running of our KTB Depots and you are self sufficient we can generally help out with a ‘space’ at the Depot for you to stay. This is limited and it is “first in best served’.
• Our Depot at Nicholson Station is 325 km south of Kununurra and you will require either a 4WD to get to us or fly in with the weekly mail plane. We are usually able to accommodate anyone who is not self sufficient and there is plenty of space for camping and a caravan. Work from this Depot involves field reconnaissance, biodiversity survey and generally running an educational to some of the nearby Aboriginal Communities and in Halls Creek.
• The over-all administration, fund-raising submission and website maintenance is run from our Nicholson base and we are always seeking help with this.
• Nicholson Station is also where we build our traps and generally work on any of the electronic equipment used by KTB. We are always seeking assistance with this part of our work.
Email KTB on firstname.lastname@example.org
Or ring on 91682576 and speak to Ben or John for further information.
Other ways to become a Kimberley Toad Buster!
You can simply become a Kimberley Toad Buster by making sure that while you are travelling you do not bring toads into WA. You can also ‘bust’ toads around your camping spot while you are travelling from the NT into WA or while you are travelling through Kununurra and where ever toads might be present.
All that KTB ask is that you carry one of our comparative charts with you to check you have the right animal; that you dispose of the toad humanely and that you contact KTB to let us know the location you found the toads in, the number of toads and if possible the sex of the toad.
In a ‘Nutshell’ what you do need to aware of:
Travellers moving from the Northern Territory into Western Australia can help keep the cane toad out of Western Australia by carrying out a number of simple ‘cane toad check’ procedures.
1. If you are camped in cane toad country ‘catch’ and ‘bag’ any cane toads that you see (heavy duty garbage bags with ties are great). Ensure first that you really know what a cane toad looks like. If uncertain ‘LET IT GO’.
2. If you have ‘camped’ in cane toad country check that ‘toads’ have not set up their own camp in the engine bay or against the fire wall in your vehicle. Toads love to hide in this area of your engine.
3. Check under the vehicle to ensure ‘toads’ have not taken ‘refuge’ on any of the support structures under the car.
4. Check boxes, the boot, under the seat and any
other area of the vehicle that ‘toads’ may have taken ‘refuge’ in, particularly if you have been opening and closing the vehicle while camped in cane toad country.
5. If you have camped under the stars in a swag, check that ‘toads’ have not taken ‘refuge’ in the folds of the canvas during the night.
6. If you have used a tent of mosquito dome check that ‘toads’ have not taken ‘refuge’ inside before folding and putting away.
7. If you have a Camper Van check thoroughly before collapsing. ‘Toads have been known to take ‘refuge’ in ‘fold’ areas and can escape detection if you are not specifically looking for them.
8. If you have a caravan check inside the caravan thoroughly to ensure that ‘toads’ have not inadvertently ‘slipped’ in during the night. Boxes and bags are particularly good hiding places for cane toad’s intent on hitch-hiking to Western Australia.
9. Assist the Agricultural Checkpoint based at the Northern Territory/Western Australian border by helping as much as you can while they check your vehicle for cane toads.
10. Talk to fellow travellers about the threat of cane toads and ways of ensuring that cane toad ‘hitchhikers’ do not make it to Western Australia.
What to do with the toads when you catch them!
Preferred disposal is to
1. Either place the toad in a plastic bag and place in a freezer. Leave for 24 hours.
2. Place toad in a plastic bag and pour one or two capfuls of Dettol into bag. Leave for one hour.
3. If your vehicle is petrol driven place the bag over the exhaust system and tie off when the bag has filled with fumes. Leave for 4 hours.
4. Bury the toads to ensure our native wildlife doesn’t suffer. The toxin is still highly potent for some hours after the death of the toad.