2207 cane toads caught
ARMED with gloves, buckets and a sense of adventure, 270 people raided the swampy grasslands of the Yamba Golf and Country Club on Sunday night – their prize 2207 ugly cane toads.
The massive haul was 731 more than last year despite 80 fewer participants.
Extensive rains which preceded the event were simultaneously blamed for the reduced number of toad-hunters and the increased number of toads.
National Parks and Wildlife Service pest management officer Jeff Thomas said Sunday night’s ‘wet, still and warm conditions’ were ideal for the 12th annual cane toad muster, even though no rain fell during the actual muster.
Mr Thomas said it was difficult to gauge whether the large haul meant the area was winning the battle against cane toads.
He said the pests had been in the valley since 1980 and had been discovered as far south as Brooms Head in 2004, with no sightings further west than James Creek near Yamba.
“There’s been the odd vagrant in rubbish materials in Grafton and Townsend but no real populations.” The other problem, Mr Thomas said, was cane toads preferred open grassy areas and urban areas, meaning up to 90 per cent live outside NPWS control.
He praised the collection efforts of various groups, including the Clarence Valley Conservation and Action group which had collected 3500 toads this summer on private land.