Cane Toads

Reporter: Graeme Butler

It may be an invasion that's impossible to stop... right now Cane Toads are just 25 kilometres from the W.A border - less than the distance from Perth to Joondalup... some people like Darwin based Graeme Sawyer from stop the toad foundation believe they're already here. "I think if we went up into the really top country for toads along the river you may even find toads in W.A now"

This is toad country in the Northern Territory not far from W.A ... up here borders are just lines on maps... What really matters are waterways... Highways for the front line invasion. Sandy Boulter from Kimberley toad busters. Cane toads are quite possibly the biggest environmental disaster facing Australia's native animals - certainly the introduction of the toads to Queensland decades ago was a mistake of gobsmaking proportions. The toads are poisonous and kill just about everything they come in contact with

Mary-Anne Winton is from the Darlu Darlu community south of Kununurra... She's declared war on toads to help save her environment from devastation. "All the things that Australians like to enjoy in the outdoor lifestyle whether you're indigenous or not we're all still Australians and its' going to impact hugely on everyone's lifestyle whether you're into and city or remote area"

At the moment toad busting like this is the front line defence against toads - the toads are trapped and collected then humanely killed..."we've busted breeding grounds we've busted big fat colonising toads the big ones that can lay 35000 eggs twice a year we've busted many of those big breeders and we just know they're just going to trickle in because of our work" If it wasn't' for the toad busters they're little doubt W.A's top end would probably already be over run - but still it's just a stop gap... a scientific solution is desperately needed. "We'd like to see research into what's a good thing to trap them more easily I mean is there an odour or a smell or a sound that brings the toads to us that would be great short term research that would help us now"

For people in Perth the invasion of cane toads might seem a long way away.. But it's not... they're a very real threat here too. "They can survive in the Perth environment just needs a breeding pair to make it in a banana box make it into the swan river our Perth our swimming pools our birds our biodiversity" Mary Anne says "they do damages in all different way that will affect everyone's lives and after being in Perth for a while I can see areas here where they'd really love to get in and thy would multiply and they would be really hard to get out"

For further details go to

www.canetoads.com.au