Researchers, WA state government officers, Indigenous rangers and community are working in collaboration to determine successful management strategies to tackle the spread of cane toads across the Kimberley, as well educating the public about the threat of cane toads and their movement.
Delivered by Rangelands NRM through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme, the ‘Kimberley Cane Toad Clean Up’ project brings together the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW), researchers from the University of Sydney and ranger groups throughout the Kimberley as well as community group Kimberley Toad Busters (KTB).
Rangelands NRM Program Manager Grey Mackay said all partners were now on board and are planning scientific field trials and producing educational resources for the community.
A map showing the ‘Cane Toad Front Line’ had been collated by all groups to provide a rough guide as to the advancement of the toads.
Professor Rick Shine from the University of Sydney visited the east Kimberley this month to discuss with Dr Dave Pearson from Parks and Wildlife upcoming work on two key projects that will be supported.
“The ‘teacher toad project’ at Oombulgurri will continue PhD student Georgia Ward-Fear’s work with the Balanggarra Rangers on teaching flood plain goannas (Varanus panoptes) not to eat cane toads,” Mr Mackay said.
Parks and Wildlife will also be working closely with University of Sydney students, Prof. Rick Shine and Ranger groups to field trial the application of toad suppression and attractant pheromones to reduce cane toad breeding success and develop some strategies for breeding mitigation on Kimberley Islands.
Bunuba Rangers and Parks and Wildlife West Kimberley Nature Conservation team will also be continuing the work on population structure and ecology of fresh water crocodiles in the Lennard River and identify possible management actions for this species in particular areas including Windjana Gorge.
“The opportunity to continue working on these projects with Australian government funds is timely and will contribute significantly to the implementation of the State governments’ Cane Toad Strategy and Kimberley Science and Conservation Strategy,” Corrin Everitt, Program Leader – State Cane Toad Initiative at the Department of Parks and Wildlife said.
1. University of Sydney Georgia Ward-Fear with a 'smart goanna'. Source: DPaW and University of Sydney.
2. Indicative cane toad front line map. Developed by Rangelands NRM with input from DPaW and KTB.