News

Toad catcher slows the march

RUSSELL Jago stands waist deep in a dam in total silence, assistant by his side and armed with nothing but a hessian sack and quick hands.

Their ears are primed for a low-key generator noise that is unmistakably cane toad.

"I'm the toad catcher," said Mr Jago, who, with his assistant, Matthew Templeton, and a dozen other catchers are the only things that stand between the cane toad and its relentless march south and up the Clarence River.

HOP TO IT: Fauna Ecologist with NPWS Russell Jago with one of cane toads he has caught at Palmers Island. Photo: Adam Hourigan
HOP TO IT: Fauna Ecologist with NPWS Russell Jago with one of cane toads he has caught at Palmers Island. Photo: Adam Hourigan

 

The National Parks and Wildlife Service has eliminated 60,000 toads over the years and aims to catch about 10,000 more this season.

"I've been the toad catcher for 14 years, contracted by National Parks and Landcare," Mr Jago said.

"I look in culverts, roads, fire trails, private land blocks, wood sheds, in mulch and in drains.

"Toads make a low-key generator-like sound, which is their call to breed, and I know the call well."

Mr Jago can also identify different frogs, birds and mammals when he is stalking toads, which provides valuable information on wildlife populations to NPWS.

"I'm interested in native reptile and amphibian life, especially those endangered by the cane toad," he said.

"Overall, we've had a decline in toad populations.

"About five years ago, we got 1000 on Palmer's Island, 300 on one property.

"This year, on that same property I got four."

The caught toads are put into a fridge for 24 hours, then into a freezer for 48 hours before they are taken to the tip to be thrown in the furnace.

"Don't take the toads out early," he said.

"They will come to, they're tough."

Mr Jago said if their heads are removed, they would make great fertilizer, you just need a market.

"There is no point sending them to Queensland; they have enough already."

Topics:  cane toads, clarence river, clarence valley, national parks and wildlife service




Calls for suspension of fishing industry changes

"The livelihoods of many family-run businesses are under threat"

Is grazing on marginal land really sustainable?

Successive governments fail to heed repeated warnings

Fears for welfare of missing horse trainer

Trainer of Grafton Cup Prelude winner Zar Zar Binks Bindi Cheers has a joke with jokcey Matt Paget at the presentation. Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Bindi Cheers was last seen at Hawkesbury Race Club

Latest deals and offers

Matilda The Musical's clean sweep at Helpmann Awards

A scene from Matilda The Musical.

TIM Minchin-scored production enjoys record awards haul.

Harry's MasterChef exit makes way for all-Noosa grand final

Harry Foster congratulates MasterChef finalists Elena Duggan and Matt Sinclair after a closely-fought semi-final.

YOUNG Rocky-born cook now working in his dream job in Tasmania.

Kim Kardashian West bemused by selfie 'drama'

Kim didn't expect her naked selfie to cause the stir it did

Alicia Vikander hasn't been home since Oscars

Alicia Vikander "hasn't been home" for nearly nine months.

Tom Hiddleston not worried about relationship attention

Attention doesn't bother 'authentic' Hiddleston

Robbie Williams and Ayda Field to expand family?

Robbie Williams and Ayda Field want more children.

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started