A WA biologist who has dedicated the past four years to stopping cane toads in the Kimberley has been named the Australian Geographic Society's young conservationist of the year.
Stop the Toad Foundation campaign manager Kim Hands, who was awarded the prize in Sydney last night, was involved in the removal of 135,000 cane toads near the North Territory border through the foundation's annual toad muster.
After cane toads reached WA in 2010, she shifted her attention to building a trial toad-proof fence at Emma Gorge in the El Questro Wilderness Park.
Ms Hands, 32, said it was never her dream to work with cane toads but when she was approached by the foundation she gave it a try.
"I thought I'd just give it a go for a year but I've loved it so I've stayed around," she said. "I love the Kimberley so trying to do something to protect it is pretty special."
Ms Hands said she had no idea she was nominated for the Australian Geographic Society award and was amazed to hear she had won.
She dedicated the award to all the volunteers she had worked with.
She said she hoped to do more trials of the cane toad exclusion fence but this relied on the foundation receiving more funding.