Toxic cane toads have reportedly wiped out entire species of
animals in the world heritage-listed Purnululu National Park,
home to Western Australia's famed Bungle Bungles.
Kimberley Toad Busters (KTB) founder Lee Scott-Virtue said
cane toad numbers had reached staggering numbers as they
invaded every habitat system.
The first toad arrived just east of the Bungle Bungles - the
large cone-shaped quartz sandstone ranges formed from erosion
over 20 million years - in May last year.
The poisonous creatures had already wiped out some entire
species of animals in the areas they infected including
quolls and some reptiles such as king brown snakes.
Ms Scott-Virtue said visitors and people working in the park
were horrified by the number of toads that had appeared since
the wet season.
She warned numbers would continue to increase if nothing was
done about their breeding.
"It's going to happen in every national park," Ms
Scott-Virtue told AAP.
One operator commented that despite busting toads every
night, there seemed to be just as many the next night, Ms
The Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) has put in live
toad drop boxes in the park but Ms Scott-Virtue said those
toads were usually only found in permanent camp sites at
night, which made up about one per cent of the total area of
Killing toads in the national park remains prohibited and
DPaW have banned the use of Dettol in the park - the only
effective method of killing the metamorph, Ms Scott-Virtue
KTB was granted permits to work in the park but found the
restrictions too prohibitive because they had to take the
toad catch out of the park to euthanase and were not allowed
to use Dettol to deal with the immature metamorphs.
They were also restricted to specific areas that contained
designated vehicular tracks, which meant there was no access
to a large part of the park to undertake appropriate toad
busting, she said.
KTB has been trialling the use of Dettol on metamorphs
congregating around water edges since 2006.
The group says there has been little residual evidence of
Dettol afterwards and no evidence of bi-catch.
Cane toads were introduced to Queensland in 1935 and began
spreading to the Northern Territory before invading northern
WA in 2009.
They are now advancing into the state at a rate of about 50
kilometres a year.
The KTB has not had any government funding since last June.