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Stop the Toad Hop in the Clarence Valley

Tadpole toad trapCane toad control in the Clarence has commenced in a coordinated program being undertaken by North Coast Local Land Services and a range of partners.

A recently released research paper, "Impact of Cane Toads on North Coast Fauna" by University of Sydney Honours student Chris Jolly coincides with the start of the toad collection season in the Lower Clarence. Jolly's research concentrated on North Coast camp grounds comparing those with and without toads and confirms the startling impact the introduction of toads have on our fauna.

In his paper, Jolly states, "Populations of three species of large lizards (land mullets Bellatorias major, eastern water dragons Intellagama lesueurii, and lace monitors Varanus varius) and a snake (red-bellied blacksnake Pseudechis porphyriacus) were lower (by 84 to 100%) in areas with toads."

It is with these devastating impacts in mind that the coordinated toad control by North Coast Local Land Services, Clarence Valley Community in Action Landcare, National Parks has started for the season. With over 27,000 toads and tadpoles collected in the lower Clarence last season the toad busters know they are making a difference.

North Coast Local Land Services is funding a collection contractor, Russell Jago, who has commenced his toad collections and will continue collecting in and around Yamba, Brooms Head, Palmers Island and Chatsworth. Russell will also be working on expanded the front line around Maclean and Townsend and keeping an eye on Ashby where toads have migrated to from Yamba and Broomshead more than 20 years ago.

Clarence Valley Community in Action Landcare will be launching their regular roundups and rolling out toad tadpole traps at key breeding sites around the valley.

Nigel Blake from North Coast Local Land Services is urging Clarence Valley residents to keep an eye out for toads particularly in areas where they have not been seen before.

"Last year we had hitchhiking toads turning up in Central Grafton, the Grafton tip, and on Gwydir Highway and migrating toads have likely made their way now to Townsend, Maclean Hill and areas around Ashby.

"If we are to stop toads from getting into new areas and our internationally recognised floodplain wetlands then everyone needs to be vigilant."

People can report toad activity on the CVCIA website or by phoning the North Coast Local Land Services office in Grafton on 6604 1100.

The Lower Clarence Cane Toad project is supported by North Coast Local Land Services through funding from the NSW Government's Catchment Action NSW.

Media contact:
Nigel Blake, Senior Land Services Officer, North Coast Local Land Services
Phone 6604 1100

Photo caption:
Toad Tadpole trap testing underway in the Lower Clarence prior to community roll out