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Cane Toads are invasive, toxic pests that will poison any animal that attempts to eat it.
Initially the cane toad was introduced to Australia in 1935 as a way of controlling pest beetles in the sugar cane industry. Since then they have continued to spread across Australia. The Clarence Valley marks the southern extent of cane toads on the Australian east coast. Breeding populations to the north of Brooms Head have successfully been contained, however toads are slowly spreading into new areas like Maclean, Gulmarrad and Ashby.
Toads are a serious threat to biodiversity as they invade the habitats of native animals and compete for food. They will also eat any animal they can swallow. Unfortunately some native frogs are killed by mistake when people are attempting to control cane toads.
There are very few cane toad predators in Australia.
Clarence Valley Conservation in Action Landcare, or CVCIA for short, in conjunction with NSW Local Land Services (LLS) and National Parks and Wildlife Service, have made preparations for another season of cane toading in the Clarence Valley. Last finanical year (2015/16) nearly 120,000 cane toads (23,000 + toads and 96,000 + toad tadpoles) were removed from the Clarence Valley. The CVCIA volunteers round up cane toads on a Friday night during the warmer months. A LLS toading contractor has collected 1,500 adult toads in the cooler months since 1 July 2016 on the Lower Clarence. The effort is making an impact on toad numbers and is slowing the spread to the villages, coastal national parks and nationally important wetlands of the Clarence Floodplain.
If so, report toad sightings by sending a message to firstname.lastname@example.org or providing details on the CVCIA website at the 'Report a Cane Toad' link. Please provide a location/address, contact name and email address/phone number.
Volunteer and landowner efforts are essential in stopping toads from expanding into new areas. You and your family might be interested in having some fun helping the CVCIA collect toads on a Friday night once the weather warms up and the toad season is active. Those that do say it's the best Friday night entertainment you can have.
For more information on cane toads and how you can help the CVCIA visit www.cvcia.org.au or contact the CVCIA's Toading Coordination on 0438 430 234 or 0411 020 394.
Photo courtesy of Russell Jago