This site and the Kimberley Toad Busters cane toad volunteer group was established by Kimberley Specialists
KTB “Iconic Species” monitoring program.
Website constructed and maintained by Dean Goodgame of Kimberley Specialists
Website written material & up-dates provided by Lee Scott-Virtue
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List of endangered species due to Cane Toads

Derby District High School Iconic Species report

Kununurra District High School Species List

What's in Yor Backyard? Poster

 The cane toad invasion of Kakadu National Park in the NT saw a sharp rise in the number of known species to suffer badly from the impact of cane toads. While toads have now been slowly invading large areas of northern Australia for the past 76 years little has been understood of the full impact of the toad on our native species. Considerable scientific research had been undertaken in Kakadu prior to the arrival of the cane toad and for the first time scientists began recording evidence that entire species were being wiped out, giving little chance for some species to make the so called ‘come-back’ some scientists advocate happens when toads either ‘move on” or population numbers reduce due to diminishing food resources. Recent floods in areas of Queensland that appeared to have had a reprieve from cane toads have seen a huge escalation in numbers once again. This has meant that any build-up in food resources that might have enabled some native species that had survived the first series of toad invasions were once again being forced not only to compete for food resources but for new generations of native species also having to ‘learn’ not to touch the toad.

The KTB “Iconic Species” monitoring program is designed to encourage community members across the Kimberley to select a known native species that experiences a sharp decline when toads first invade an area, or to select their favourite native species, record its number in a known area and then monitor it prior to and after the toads arrive.

Please contact KTB on 08 91682576, email or follow this link for a copy of our “Iconic Species” data recording and monitoring form.

ICON animal Impact of Cane Toads Location in NT Source/Principal Author

Northern Quoll


100% loss of animals




Meri Oakwood


Yellow spotted,
Mitchells, Mertens ,
Sand/Goulds Goanna


90% loss of animals

No recovery since 2003


Daly River,
Manton Dam,


Sean Doody

Tony Griffiths

Frilled Neck Lizard


Not well understood, up to
100% loss


Top End


Graham Sawyer
Community groups

Freshwater Crocodile


77% loss of animals


Victoria River


Mike Lentic

Pygmy. Freshwater

Up to 100% loss of

Bullo River

Adam and Erin

Northern Blue-Tongue

100% loss of animals

Fogg Dam

Greg Brown
Sam Price-Lees

Small Skinks


Dramatic reduction in
number and types of species


Jaspers Gorge

Katherine George

Lyall Grieve

Tourism Operators

Brown Snake, Death
Adder and other

Up to 90% loss of animals, some research suggests morphological
change and recovery of some species

Top End

Observations from
Rangers- Kakadu

Mattias Hagman

Ben Phillips

Rainbow Bee Eater

30% loss of breeding

SE Qld

Christopher Boland


In tropical floodplain ecosystems, cane toads consume more than 4 times amount of insects than native frogs

Cane toads significantly deplete insect food resource

Fogg Dam

New Caledonia

Matt Greenlees

Mike Tyler

“Iconic” Key Species for recording and monitoring.
Key species that you may be interested in keeping an eye out for and recording (these species are now accepted as being most at risk from Cane toads):
Northern Quoll (100% loss recorded in Kakadu)
  • Goannas - Sand Goanna, Yellow Spotted Goanna, Spotted Tree Goanna, Merten’s Water Monitor, Mitchells Water Monitor (90% loss recorded in the Daly) (KTB have also noted the Gould is also at risk).
  • Frogs - Ornate Burrowing Frog, Green Tree Frog, Northern Dwarf Tree Frog, Flat headed frog (calls are a great way of indentifying species)
  • Skinks - Blue-tongued Lizard (all smaller skinks are also likely to be impacted) (100% loss feared for the Kimberley) (KTB have also noted that many of the small skink species begin to disappear when competition for food resources starts).
  • Dragons – Frilled neck Lizards
  • Snakes - Carpet Python, Yellow Tree Snake, Black headed python, Banded tree snake (Snakes that KTB have noted also at risk are the King Brown and Death Adder).
  • Birds - Black Bittern (heron), Blue-winged Kookaburra and night birds (KTB have noted that Pelicans also die when they inadvertently scoop up cane toad tadpoles. We have also recorded large numbers of deaths amongst the various birds of prey when toads first invade an area ).
  • Freshwater crocodiles (77% loss recorded in the Victoria River)
  • Ghost bats
  • (KTB have also noted that both the short necked and long necked turtle also die in large numbers when toads first arrive in a system and start breeding).
    This is just scratching the surface – many of the above species are impacted as predators of cane toads or tadpoles. The indirect impacts of resource competition and the cascading impacts when a predator is removed from the food web have not been recorded other than anecdotal reports from crocodile farmers that saltwater crocodile breeding has accelerated since lizard species have been removed from the system.