A cane toad.
A cane toad.

Let's bag the toads

IT’S that time of the year when the war on cane toads really ramps up across the Clarence Valley.

With the popular annual toad hunt at the Yamba golf course only weeks away, and the toad busters from the CIA already in action, the future isn’t looking good for warty pests trying to settle in the Valley.

The toad round-up at the Yamba Golf and Country Club, run by the National Parks and Wildlife Service, is scheduled for March 7.

Last year more than 300 people of all ages turned up for the hunt.

NPWS spokesperson Lawrence Orel said more than 1000 toads were bagged and put down, despite a heavy downpour of rain that brought the round-up to an early close.

Meanwhile, volunteers from Clarence Valley Conservation in Action (CIA) have been conducting regular toad hunts across the Valley.

“We are going great guns this season and have picked up over 3,170 toads,” CIA director Sharon Lehman said.

Two weeks ago 16 CIA members collected 870 toads in one night at Woombah and Mororo.

As well as breaking a CIA record and collecting many toads, Ms Lehman said it was hugely successful because landholders joined the hunt.

“To see the landowners joining in and hearing of some of them now controlling when we are not there, and to have another landowner tell me he feels confident we are making a difference, it warms the cockles of my heart,” she said.

Ms Lehman would like to thank all of the CIA volunteers for helping to make a difference, getting their hands dirty, educating others and talking about habitat modification with landowners.

To find out more about CIA toad hunts, to report cane toads or to become a member visit www.cvcia.org.au .

On the website there is also a toad counter that shows exactly how many toads have been collected by the group.

Quick facts

  • Cane toads were introduced to Queensland from South America in 1935, in an unsuccessful attempt to control cane beetles, a pest of the sugar cane industry.
  •  Cane toads are pests. In the Clarence Valley, volunteers have already bagged and put down more than 3000 toads this season.
  •  The range of the cane toad in New South Wales so far extends from the Queensland border to the Clarence Valley.
  • An isolated breeding population has also established further south at Lake Innes near Port Macquarie.
  •  The skin on a cane toad’s back is rough, dry and warty. Colours vary from grey, olive, brown to red brown.
  •  The cane toad has a large sac on each shoulder. These are toxin-producing parotoid glands.

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