Australia's Toad busters
Friday, November 04, 2011
Cane toads are a highly invasive species, poisonous at all stages of their approximately five year life span. Prolific breeders, breeding twice a year, one female can lay between 20 000-30 000 eggs in one spawning. Cane toads are highly tolerant to the extremes of the Australian climate and eat almost anything they can swallow. Cane toads poison any native animal whose diet includes frogs, tadpoles and frog’s eggs as well as destroying all reptiles, including crocodiles and water monitors, all omnivores, many birds and native fish. Cane toads also negatively impact on biodiversity through competing for food with vertebrate insectivores such as small skinks
Kimberley Toadbusters co-ordinator Ben Scott-Virtue said two all-terrain vehicles meant volunteers could take to the water to fight the toxic pests.
He said the eight-wheeled amphibious vehicles, bought with a Lotterywest grant, would give Kimberley Toadbusters access to some of the region's most remote water systems and make toad busting much safer.
"In areas like the Keep River where there are so many saltwater crocodiles one has to be incredibly careful," Mr Scott-Virtue said.
"With these vehicles, we are able to go along the edges of those same billabongs, not put ourselves at risk and be able to remove the toads."