Rangelands NRM’s Program Manager, Jardine MacDonald, recently joined the Parks and Wildlife Kimberley team on the Great Kimberley Toad Muster to collect cane toads and process their meat for inclusion in sausages targeting northern quolls.
The ‘conditioned taste aversion’ project, which is partly funded by a grant from Rangelands through the National Landcare Program funding, includes the dropping of sausage baits which include cane toad meat into areas ahead of the cane toad front. The amount of meat included in the sausages is not lethal for the quolls but is enough to make them sick and conditioned against the taste, so that when the front first reaches their habitat, they won’t eat the big cane toads which will kill them. This could prove a vital weapon in the armoury to protect native wildlife from the toads as they sweep across the central Kimberley.
During the muster the team collected 2,000 toads, helped by many community members in Fitzroy Crossing, Warmun, Wyndham and Kununurra.