Successful cane toading missions at Yamba Golf Course and Ashby in recent weeks have seen the 8,000 cane toad milestone eclipsed for the 18/19 season of Friday night collections by CVCIA Landcare volunteers and while this number is impressive it is substantially lower than the number of toads collected in the last two seasons.
Last season 14,347 toads were collected in total with 11,367 by the end of March while in the 16/17 season a total of 14,003 toads were gathered up with nearly 12,000 of those collected by the end of March.
The trend of reducing numbers of cane toads continued when CVCIA Landcare visited Yamba Golf Course two weeks ago with only 336 toads being detained, including around 30% of toads that had been specially marked by Sydney University researchers earlier that week.
However, the number toads collected at Ashby and Ashby Island last Friday jumped in total with 361 toads collected compared to 271 that were found when CVCIA Landcare last visited the area in February.
The majority of toads (typically 60%) collected in the Ashby area this season have come from Ashby Island where the breeding site/s continue to evade detection, despite volunteers and landowners expanding inspections of private property and waterways.
With cooler weather starting to settle in volunteers are keen to remove as many toads as possible before the official end of the CVCIA toading season around the end of April when overnight temperatures usually make toading less comfortable and less profitable for most volunteers.
Recent rain could certainly have sparked the rise in toad activity seen at Ashby last week and volunteers will be returning to Woombah and Goodwood Island this Friday night to thin out the toad population north of the Clarence River with the night starting at Woombah RFS shed at 7.30pm before departing for the various toading sites.
All interested persons are invited to come along and join in the CVCIA Landcare nocturnal cane toading activities between 7.30-9.45pm with sturdy shoes and a bright torch/headlamp essential for safety and successful toad collection and associated wildlife spotting with any enquiries welcome to Scott on 0477 616 210.