THE TALLY: Greg Mashiah records the tally of toads on the recording sheet while Tina Vitolins holds the toad bag for Scott Lenton as the toads are aged and sexed for the tally man to record.
THE TALLY: Greg Mashiah records the tally of toads on the recording sheet while Tina Vitolins holds the toad bag for Scott Lenton as the toads are aged and sexed for the tally man to record.

Cane toad breeding set to explode in Lower Clarence

THE warning signs are indicating that anything more than half reasonable falls of rain across the Lower Clarence will bring an explosion of cane toad breeding activity.

With only two months of breeding season left, CVCIA Landcare volunteers have been dealing with the results of a spike in breeding activity after only relatively minor falls a few weeks ago.

Cane toads breed through the warmer months (December-April) when warm water temperatures enable the long strands of toad eggs to hatch within a couple of days and the resultant tadpoles to grow quickly to metamorphing (or baby toad) stage over a period of three weeks or so.

As with many frog species, cane toad breeding is most often prompted by good rainfall, and the discovery of toad spawn at two Yamba sites a couple of weeks ago as well as toad tadpoles and solid numbers of baby toads being discovered at Micalo Island and Taloumbi over last weekend shows that less than ideal conditions will be used by toads to breed as they start to run out of time this season to propagate their species.

Breeding this season was observed a month earlier than in the 16/17 season and recent trends of drier weather seems to have kept breeding in check somewhat, despite some outbreaks, and a key to controlling these outbreaks has been the increasing combination of regular checks by CVCIA volunteers along with reports from members of the public and landowners who are becoming more vigilant in checking dams and ponds for signs of toad breeding.

Last Friday night 20 CVCIA volunteers scoured Micalo Island and collected a season high tally for Micalo of 629 cane toads with 75% being immature toads including a number of toads less than four weeks old. ,

Then on Sunday volunteers were again removing toad tadpoles and metamorph toads from private property at Taloumbi being an area where significant breeding events have been detected this year through having extra eyes on the ground. The regular and popular Friday night CVCIA Landcare cane toading collection will be held in and around Brooms Head this week with rain showers this week likely to further activate the local toad population.

Volunteers are welcome and invited to meet at 7.45pm in the car park at the Brooms Head Bowling Club with all volunteers required to wear sturdy closed-in shoes or boots, bring a bright torch or headlamp and a lidded bucket if you have one and enquiries can be made to Scott on 0438430234.



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