Better baits coming for busting local cane toad tadpoles

The battle against the march of cane toads in the Lower Clarence has received another boost with the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between North Coast Local Land Services and the University of Queensland.

Professor Rob Capon, the founder and Director of the Cane Toad Challenge, has developed an easy to use form of the pheromone bait for toad tadpole traps. 

The traps are currently being used to target breeding areas in the Lower Clarence. The pheromone bait is produced from the toads themselves and attracts toad tadpoles into a simple trap so they can be dispatched. Native tadpoles generally avoid the bait.

Several hundred Cane Toad Tadpoles caught with pheromone bait.

Several hundred Cane Toad Tadpoles caught with pheromone bait.

Senior Land Services Officer, Nigel Blake said “this is great partnership for us and the new baits from the Cane Toad Challenge will make it much easier for us to deploy the traps”.

“We know the traps work really well with trapping and netting this season having already removed over 100,000 toad tadpoles in the lower Clarence.”

Through a partnership with Clarence Valley Landcare there is an expanding network of community members who want to stop toads from breeding on their properties. The easy to use baits and tadpole traps will allow landholders to help protect their pets along with the native frogs, lizards and other wildlife from this toxic menace.

“In the Lower Clarence there are 27 different threatened species and at least 20 other reptiles particularly vulnerable to cane toads,” Nigel said.

“We are taking a strategic approach, trying to keep the toads away from the nationally significant wetlands of the lower Clarence and sites identified in the NSW Government’s Saving Our Species program which are protecting the rare green and golden bell frog. 

“The effort on the ground from Russell Jago our local contractor and the enormous work done by nearly 100 Clarence Valley Conservation in Action Landcare volunteers who have participated in toad busting this year.”

This community commitment is attracting interest from other researchers too who believe that the combined efforts of the volunteers, community members and the contractors have played a significant role in slowing the toad’s progress.

To register your interest in toad tadpole traps contact Nigel Blake from North Coast Local Land Services on 6604 1100.