Cane Toad Project


Andrea Grady – andrea.grady@live.com.au

 

-The Problem-

  • Cane Toads are an introduced species, that are detrimental to our native fauna and environment.
  • Difficult to remove.
  • Produce large numbers of offspring.
  • Able to adapt to localized environments.
  • Lack of simple methods for removal.

 

-The Project-

  • The aim is to use traps to attract cane toad tadpoles in local dams and water courses.
  • To achieve this, we will be using kits sent to us by Rick Shine and the cane toad toxin.
  • This project will need promotion and community input to make this a successful endeavor.

 

-Why here?-

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  • Unique places for this research.
  • Isolated populations of toads and once eradicated, it will be relatively easy to monitor incoming individuals, from access points like the ferry terminals.

 

-Cane toads-

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-Toad Info-

 

  • Cane Toads produce 30,000 eggs in a clutch. To stop toads spreading populations, they need to be stopped from reproducing.
  • Method of Rick Shine’s research exploits cane toad toxins and cannibalistic behaviour. Toxins from adults and eggs of cane toads are highly attractive to toad tadpoles. They locate clutches by sensing the cane toad toxin present in eggs.
  • The toxin is used as ‘bait’ for the traps, and it is cheap and easy to obtain.

 

-The Traps-

 

  • Parts of the traps include face mask, protective goggles, funnels, gloves and containers.
  • The bait is placed inside the container, with funnels positioned carefully, which allow the tadpoles to get in, but not out.

 

-Methods-

 

  • The toad toxin was extracted. It will be used as bait for the traps.
  • The traps are set up on the edges on ponds/dams.
  • The traps are checked 2-3 times a week. When checking, if tadpoles are present they should be removed and carefully put into a bucket/container.
  • The trap should be set again (more toxin added if needed), and the extracted tadpoles are taken to (member/Kennedy farm/freezer).
  • The tadpoles will then be counted at a later stage.

 

-Safety-

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  • I have attended the ‘In safe hands toolkit’ workshop on the 12th Nov.
  • Safety in regards to:

–         traps: be careful of cane toxin, do not put near eyes or ingest, seek immediate first aid. When using gloves be sure to take off and dispose carefully.

–         field work: wear proper attire, long pants, long socks, boots/joggers/ gum boots and something that completely covers the foot and is sturdy, hat/sunscreen, covered sleeves, gloves worn when placing toxin in traps and when setting traps/checking traps.

  • Listen to speaker for instructions!

 

-Budget-

  • Budget comprises of:

–         $500 from funding, which will be allocated to any additional costs needed for the project (gloves etc).

–         Kits have already been purchased.

 

-Plan of attack-

 

  • On the day’ plan;

–         Volunteers meet at Kennedy Farm, for debrief, forms, checks for proper attire, split into groups and assigned a site to set up and monitor.

–         Go out together (car pool). At each site the group responsible for site will set up trap, while the others look on (Seeing others – repetition, key to understanding).

By the end of the day all traps should be set, with volunteers understanding how to check the traps and reset them if need be.