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THE END OF AN ERA - February 2015

 
   

STTF now stands at the end of our ninth and final year of operations. The Committee of Management has decided to close the Foundation. The main reason is lack of funding and governmental support, but also a change in the direction of the Foundation from manual control to supporting scientific research. Remaining resources will be divided between scientists (see Project Kimberley) and environment organisations who will continue the fight against the toad using the experience gained by STTF.

STTF believe we have been very successful at increasing the awareness for the cane toad issue in northern Australia over the past nine years, one of the main aims of the Foundation. We were also responsible for removing thousands of cane toads from the environment and developing and testing successful control methods in the field. We hope that the experience and knowledge gained during the nine years we were in operation will be utilised by other organisations that are able to continue to work on the cane toad issue in Australia.

STTF would like to say a huge thank you to all our stakeholders and everyone who supported our work throughout the history of the Foundation. It was a pleasure working with you.

STTF would like to say a final and most grateful thank you to all the volunteers over the past nine years. We simply could not have given it our best shot without you. Your hard work, blood, sweat and tears were all worth it and will always be part of the fight against the invasive cane toad. Thankyou!

If you would like more information on the cane toad issue or to see if there are any volunteer opportunities available, please contact our sister organisation Frogwatch at www.frogwatch.org.au

Please note: This website captures the story of the Stop the Toad Foundation from 2006-2015. Some of the website will not be up to date and it may read as if the organisation is still operating.

 

 

Given the above news this competition is no longer available, but please peruse this archived site out of historical interest.

To show their support of the cause, Wicked campers has designed a Stop the Toad camper van which can be hired out across Australia and encourages travelers to ‘spread love, not cane toads’ and to ‘save our aussie icons’.

If you are lucky enough to spot the Toad camper van as it travels around Australia, send us a photo with yourself and the van for our web page.
Email Kim on kim@stopthetoad.org.au.

For more information about hiring a Wicked Camper, please contact Wicked Campers on
www.wickedcampers.com.au or 1800 24 68 69.



The spread of the toad 

Cane toads were introduced into Australia in 1935 in an attempt to control pest beetles in the sugar cane industry. They were unsuccessful in their control efforts, but very successful at invading the ecosystems of Australia’s north. Cane toads were originally released in Gordonvale in Queensland, but have spread west and south to now cover 1/3 of Australia.

Ecologists warn that, unless stopped, cane toads will colonise Perth. They may even infest areas as far south as Margaret River and Esperance.

Hear the cane toad call (mp3)

more on the spread of toads .....

Map courtesy of DEC, KTB and The Australian Geographic Magazine
Large image (870 kb jpg) here.


What is being done?

Over the past 25 years, there has been a lot of effort and both Federal and State Government’s funding poured into research for a biological solution to control the cane toad. Some ideas have included using a virus to interfere with the metamorphosis process, the introduction of sterile males into the population, using sex pheromones to attract toads and lure them into a trap, and using a lung parasite to weaken the population. Despite scientists’ best efforts, an answer has not been found.

Community groups across Australia have also put a huge amount of effort into controlling toads using manual methods such as hand collection, trapping and fencing (see The Great Toad Muster). Whilst this effort has played an important educative role in the community, it also hasn’t managed to eradicate toads in Australia. The efforts of the Stop the Toad Foundation, however, have been responsible for a breakthrough in the manual control of toads.

Over the past five years, The Stop the Toad Foundation (with the help of Frogwatch NT) has designed and tested a tool for the manual control of cane toads; exclusion fences. These fences are designed to keep cane toads out of an area, but allow other native animals to pass through. They are also cost effective, easy to erect and offer a practical solution to keeping toads out of specific areas. The first ever permanent cane toad fence has been erected at Emma Gorge on El Questro Wilderness Park in 2011 in conjunction with Australian Geographic. It will be monitored for the next few years to determine its success and the biodiversity inside and outside the fence once toads arrive.

STTF's fencing strategy in action

A biological or genetic solution to cane toads may still be 10-20 years away. Until that time, STTF will be pro-active and help keep unique wildlife areas cane toad free!

Using fences to control cane toads - a demonstration

Using fences to control cane toads - the science behind it (645 kb pdf in new window)


Can they be stopped?

We may not be able to stop toads from moving further west into WA and south into NSW, but we can keep them out of specific areas using exclusion fences.

If you already have a fence surrounding your property, it is easy to make it toad proof to protect your pets and native wildlife. Smaller fences can also be used within your property to keep toads out of specific areas such as swimming pools and BBQ areas

How to cane toad proof your backyard (809kb pdf in new window)

What about native wildlife?

What else can I do to help?

 

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  Perth Vetinary Specialists

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