A cane toad spawn and tadpoles found in Brooms Head.
A cane toad spawn and tadpoles found in Brooms Head. Contributed

Volunteers give cane toads at Brooms Head the heave ho

CANE toads thought the good rainfall last week was an early Christmas present, but they weren't expecting volunteers from Clarence Valley Conservation in Action to spoil the occasion and toadily break up the party, taking 524 cane toads, some toad tadpoles and two large lots of toad spawns out of the local environment.

Earlier in the week 1400 cane toad tadpoles had been trapped in an open drain in the village by Nigel Blake of North Coast Local Land Services who was successfully trialling new 'Bufo Tabs' trap baits supplied by the University of Queensland.

On Friday the CVCIA volunteers removed several adult toads, a few metamorphs (very small, baby toads), 65 toad tadpoles using Bufo Tabs-loaded traps, as well as two large masses of toad spawn (see photo) from the same drainage swale that will hopefully make a big dent in recruitment of toads in the village for the 2017/18 season.

Temporary surface water in the village, as well as Sandon Quarry, creek lines and drainage culverts in Yuraygir National Park, accounted for significant numbers of adult male toads on Friday with one site at Greycliff near Lake Arragan yielding 90 toads and a large temporary pool in the fire break at the north side of the village giving up 60 toads.

Good rainfall is the natural signal for frogs to actively seek breeding opportunities and cane toads are no different with male toads moving to suitable pools to call for a female in the hope that they can propagate their species so it is a good time for these known breeding sites to be checked and for toads and any toad spawn to be removed before the toads' best intentions are realised.

Numbers of toads caught on Friday was nearly double previous outings in and around Brooms Head for the season to date, however still not as high as some returns from the last two seasons, particularly in the village and prawn hatchery areas where numbers collected this season show a declining trend no doubt due to consistent and smart effort over a substantial period of time by CVCIA volunteers and some local residents.

Arrival of a new funding stream through the NSW Governments Saving Our Species program and increased toading effort along the southern line of the cane toad population extending from Maclean to Brooms Head and the Sandon River over the balance of the 17/18 season is set to make life for toads in that area rather unpleasant and landholders in that area are being asked to assist by giving permission to have their properties checked for toads.

Control of the cane toad population in the lower Clarence Valley requires many hands to help whether it be through volunteering with the CVCIA Landcare, giving permission to allow private property to be checked, reporting toad sightings at www.cvcia.org.au or checking your garden pond or dam for toads, toad tadpoles or spawn and reporting anything you suspect is 'toady' to either CVCIA Landcare or NPWS so it can be checked out.

More information can also be sourced from CVCIA Landcare on Facebook or CVCIA toading contact, Scott Lenton, on 0438 430 234.

We take this opportunity to wish all of our volunteers, loyal followers and helpers in controlling cane toads a safe and enjoyable festive season and 2018.

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