Community News

Friday nights cool crew of toaders relaxing after a successful toad hunt. Image: Chelsie Young.

Micalo Island’s toads get some hurry up

CVCIA Landcare volunteers gave several properties on Micalo Island the once over on Friday night returning with 84 cane toads after an enjoyable couple of hours and in an encouraging sign the tally was well down on October expeditions to Micalo over the last two years.

Last October 123 toads were found and in 2017 a solid total of 423 toads were rounded up on Micalo Island with last Friday’s result adding further evidence that continual effort by both volunteers and landowners can be highly effective at controlling this pest.

In fact landowners are often surprised at just how fast numbers of toads can be significantly reduced with some regular nocturnal attention and checking for breeding in farm dams, although the real test is fully eradicating the pest and that remains the real aim on islands like Micalo where their opportunities to migrate onto the island are fairly limited.

Some toaders were treated to special wildlife encounters on Friday with two small marsh snakes (that prey on small lizards), observed and a species very rarely seen where cane toads occur, a red-bellied black snake, unfortunately found deceased.

The black snakes are naturally frog eaters and so when they mistakenly consume a cane toad the toads poison causes the snake to suffer from heart failure (the cause of death of many native animals that eat toads).

Toading tip – Equip yourself to make it easier.

Finding and catching cane toads is certainly more effective and more enjoyable when you have a few basic pieces of equipment such as a good torch or headlamp, a bucket with a lid and a grabbing tool if you don’t bend over like you use to or the thought of picking up a toad with your hand doesn’t inspire you.

Headlamps are often preferred over torches as they allow you to operate hands free which can be handy when there are plenty of toads about or you just don’t want to carry something extra.

Toading next Friday November 1 – Yamba Golf Course.

CVCIA Landcare will be taking Friday night toading to the ‘home of cane toading in the lower Clarence’ next Friday for the first time this year and interested persons are welcome to come along and meet in the southern car park at 7.30-7.45pm for two hours of nocturnal toad control with sturdy shoes and a sense of adventure required.

Scott Lenton