THE Clarence Valley has become the front line in the battle to halt the southward expansion of the cane toad.
Though their presence is known in Yamba, cane toads will be hopping down the streets of Iluka and Maclean in a few years if more people don’t get outside and help.
That’s the prediction from Clarence Valley Conservation in Action (CIA) Landcare co-ordinator Sharon Lehman.
“Cane toads are a highly invasive animal that is spreading rapidly through key areas in the Clarence Valley,” said Ms Lehman.
“CIA volunteers and NPWS staff are desperately trying to hold the front line from advancing further south and west while research is conducted and habitat modification trials are set up in an attempt to reduce the breeding success of these warty pests.”
Ms Lehman said the Clarence Valley was home to the southern front of the Australian invasion of cane toads, with toads threatening Ashby, Iluka, Townsend, Brooms Head and Woombah.
“There is a great deal going on both at a federal and state level regarding how this pest is managed and my main aim right now is to try and keep the toad out of the Clarence River,” she said.
“The main areas of concern are that they are sneaking south around Woombah and heading towards Iluka and trying to get past Ashby into the wetlands west.
“We also need to try and stop them getting south of Townsend and Brooms Head.”
With a warm, wet winter between two wet summers, cane toads are being found in areas they have never been seen before.
“If the cane toads get west of Ashby or into the wetlands south of Sandon and Townsend, it really will be virtually impossible to slow the front. ,” said Ms Lehman.
“CIA volunteers have picked up over 3000 cane toads already this summer.”
The CVCIA Landcare is currently recruiting volunteers to join their toad busting teams across the valley. The next A CIA training session is being held on Saturday at Lake Arragan camping area, followed by a toad hunt around affected areas Saturday night.
A free workshop is being organised for those interested in learning more about controlling and monitoring cane toads in the Clarence Valley. Bookings are essential for resourcing purposes. Contact Sharon Lehman on 0411 020 394 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest.