From the Newsroom

Cane toad youngster

Hopping off to control the invasive cane toad

Conservationists coordinating cane toad busting operations throughout Northern NSW have received over $160000 in funding to deliver a massive strike against the destructive pests.

The number of invasive creatures, whose presence severely impacts the survival of several native species, has boomed in the wake of the black summer fires and extreme rain and flood events.

Clarence Landcare Educational Officer Kelly McRae said recent studies have shown a significant increase in cane toad numbers and their movements throughout the local region.

“The fires removed vegetation barriers making movement easy and swift, and the following wet seasons have been perfect for breeding,” she explained.

Supported by the Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery Grants, Clarence Landcare will join forces with Watergum to educate and prepare local communities for the upcoming great cane toad bust.

Program Manager at Watergum Emily Vincent said the project aims to raise awareness of the negative impacts of cane toads and to encourage community members to become active cane toad controllers.

“With a series of preceding events leading up to a week-long competition, the great cane toad bust in January, the national cane toad bust will be carried out by individuals and groups with results collated online for all to see,” she said.

Organisers will gather groups of volunteers equipped with gloves, head torches and buckets, and lead cane toad busting events in communities across Northern NSW and beyond.

Ms McRae said the event builds on Watergum’s national cane toad control program and said it is exciting to be partnering with them on a project with such a broad reach.

“While it may be an unusual activity for those new to cane toad control, make no mistake, toad busting is a lot of fun,” she said.

“It’s a great opportunity to get out at night with your family and friends and search for the nocturnal native wildlife you are trying to protect.

“We’re looking forward to getting the community involved and giving our native species the best chance of recovery post fires.”

The Australian Government funds the $14 million Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery Grants are supporting projects in regions impacted by the Black Summer bushfires of 2019–2020. 

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