Kim Chance

Kim Chance

Minister for Agriculture and Food; Forestry; the Mid West and Wheatbelt; Great Southern

Judy Edwards

Judy Edwards

Former Minister for the Environment; Science

    WA-NT combine to trap cane toads

    6/04/2005 12:00 AM

    Western Australia and the Northern Territory have combined in a series of trials to test the effectiveness of trapping cane toads to stem their western advance.

    The six trap designs were chosen following a national cane toad trap competition initiated by the Northern Territory. The competition attracted 112 entries from all mainland States and Territories and one from Germany.

    Environment Minister Judy Edwards and Agriculture Minister Kim Chance today said the trials began this week at three locations in the NT - two near Pine Creek south of Darwin and one in the Victoria River area towards the WA border.

    Staff from the Kununurra offices of the Department of Conservation and Land Management and the Department of Agriculture are involved in the trials at Victoria River.

    “WA’s involvement is being funded through a $600,000 allocation the State Government announced last December,” Dr Edwards said.

    “We have approached the Federal Government to match those funds so that further research and monitoring can be undertaken. The State Government is committed to putting WA’s interests first when it comes to protecting and enhancing our environment and lifestyle.”

    The Minister said NT authorities had been willing partners in the collaborative effort.

    “Cane toads have been confirmed in the wild within 300km of the WA border and at their current rate of spread, could reach WA within three years,” she said.

    “This is one of the reasons why the State Government is supporting research inside the Territory border in a bid to slow the rate of spread.

    “Biological survey and monitoring work will begin in the east Kimberley this dry season to identify key assets at risk. Fencing will also be investigated as a strategy to protect key biodiversity assets.”

    Mr Chance said a State Cane Toad Management Advisory Committee was being formed to oversee the State cane toad initiative.

    “The State cane toad initiative is being delivered through the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Conservation and Land Management and the Agriculture Protection Board,” he said.

    The major aims of the initiative are to ensure:
    • effective State-wide co-ordination of cane toad issues;
    • public awareness of cane toad issues;
    • biodiversity asset identification and protection; and
    • delay of entry and establishment of toads in the Kimberley and the rest of WA.
    Mr Chance said checking of vehicles at the WA-NT border had been intensified and new cane toad awareness materials were being produced.

    “We will be following the trials of the traps with great interest and will evaluate the results with a view to incorporating trapping as part of the overall control strategy,” he said.

    Media contacts:
    Environment Minister’s office - 9220 5050;
    Agriculture Minister’s office - 9213 6700