Christmas came a little early for CVCIA Landcare volunteers when exactly 100 cane toads were extracted from Ilarwill on the Friday night prior to Christmas and constant pressure since then has seen thousands of toads collected as the weather and toad breeding heats up.
The last official CVCIA coordinated cane toad round-up was at Yamba Golf Course where a record equalling Friday night turnout of 25 volunteers, including first timers holidaying from Sydney and Tenterfield, scoured the fairways and waterholes to remove nearly 800 toads from that venue.
To kick off the 2019 year the attention returned to Micalo Island near Yamba where another 421 toads and an estimated 300 toad tadpoles were picked up by 14 volunteers on private property and the partnership between landowners and CVCIA Landcare was reinforced the very next day when 3000 newly-emerged toad metamorphs (baby toads less than 4 weeks old) were collected from around a private dam after being reported by the landowner.
Not to be out-done, CVCIA volunteers Terry and Lorraine Watkins from Maclean, worked with a Maclean landowner to obtain access to check a private dam high on Maclean hill where another 6000 metamorphs were removed in just two days last weekend in a mammoth effort of dedication and determination that is hoped to put a significant dent in the recruitment of new toads into the Maclean population.
These partnerships between landowners and CVCIA Landcare demonstrate how the reporting of suspected cane toad breeding events in private water bodies, such as dams can result in checks and effective control being achieved.
The recent dry, warm weather has not been favourable to new spawning events however it has allowed undetected spawning events from a month or so ago propagate and result in mass hatching of toad metamorphs and landowners are encouraged to check around the moist margins of farm dams and open, freshwater drains with good access to sunlight in the lower Clarence as a matter of priority.
Cane toads prefer to breed in shallow, still water bodies such as dams where direct sunlight warms the water quickly and promotes rapid hatching of toad eggs and the resultant development of the toad tadpoles.
Anyone that is interested in assisting to control the cane toad pest in the lower Clarence is advised to make enquiries with CVCIA Landcare through their Facebook page – CVCIA Landcare or email their toading contact, Scott Lenton, on email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Friday night (January 11) the Ashby village and Ashby Island cane toad population will feel the heat for the second time this season as CVCIA Landcare volunteers and local landowners join forces to control this pest and will meet at the Ashby Community Hall at 8pm to coordinate the nights round-up with all invited to get involved.