The toad-busters of the Lower Clarence have cause for optimism with declining numbers recorded at some of the regular sites and a noticeable reduction in the number of toads collected at Angourie this year.
The long term offensive against the toads was bolstered this year with North Coast Local Land Services coordinating funding from Catchment Action NSW, with the Office of Environment and Heritage’s Saving our Species program, National Parks and Wildlife Service and Clarence Valley Conservation in Action Landcare volunteers.
Nigel Blake, Senior Land Services Officer said, “For over 20 years volunteers and National Park and Wildlife staff have been hand collecting, trapping and netting Cane Toads and tadpoles from the village of Angourie, the breeding areas of the Blue and Green Pools and adjacent Yuraygir National Park.
“Over recent years the increasing numbers of volunteers have been helped by North Coast Local Land Services staff and ecologists and the results have been, well, amazing – locals are hard pushed to find more than a few toads these days.
“This shows that with consistent effort by a number of dedicated individuals it really is possible to exclude toads from a significant area.” he said.
Local Angourie toadbusters, Grant and Imelda Jennings reported that on recent searches only one or two toads at most were found and increasingly, on their regular walks no toads at all have been found. Jeff Thomas from Office of Environment and Heritage who accompanied them on their most recent search was eager to congratulate them.
Reflecting on past years Jeff said “It has been an amazing effort by everyone, I didn’t think I would ever see the day when no toads would be found around Angourie at the height of the season.”
Grant Jennings puts the success down to the many Angourie residents over many years who have done what they could to keep the cane toad population in check; community education evidenced through the publication of the Angourie Sometimes newsletter mailed to all Angourie residents and, most importantly, removal of cane toad spawn and tadpoles from breeding areas.
Anyone interested in assisting with toad collection or to report toads in Lower Clarence is urged to contact Scott Lenton cane toad coordinator of the 100 plus Clarence Valley Conservation in Action Landcare volunteers via Facebook or their website cvcia.org.au