Redland City Council will trial two advanced cane-toad management systems as part of its integrated control program for the pests.
The trial, which supports work being done through Council’s Environmental Partnership Program, will involve using Toadinator traps to capture adult females before they breed, as well as funnel traps baited with a newly developed product irresistible to cane toad tadpoles.
Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the first step in managing cane toad numbers focussed on working with landowners through Council’s Environmental Partnership Program to thickly vegetate around water bodies as a barrier to potential breeding sites.
Senior Habitat Protection Officer Maree Manby shows Mayor Karen Williams a Toadinator cane toad trap.
Toadinator cane toad traps, which will be used in a Redland City Council trial, are designed to attract and catch adult female cane toads.
“While we are currently seeing a large number of cane toad toadlets due to recent rains, Council has for some years been working closely with landowners across the city through our Environmental Partnerships Program to manage cane toads on their properties,” Cr Williams said.
“We are also about to begin a trial of a small number of Toadinator cane toad traps, which are designed to attract and catch adult female cane toads which can then be removed and disposed of humanely.
“The traps, which allow cane toads to enter but not exit, have a solar-powered light to attract insects and a cane toad caller to call in the females. The caller and lights come on at night when toads are most active and then automatically turn off during the day.
“Research and tests by Australian Control Technologies (Australia) working with James Cook University show they can have a much bigger impact on cane toad numbers than catching cane toads and tadpoles individually.”
Toadinator cane toad traps are also commercially available to residents who want to buy their own.
Cr Williams said the third part to the control approach would be the use of funnel traps baited with tablets which attract cane toad tadpoles.
“Council has recently partnered with the University of Queensland’s Cane Toad Challenge project to obtain access to this new technological advancement in toad control,” she said.
“The university identified the cane toads’ own toxin could be used to attract cane toad tadpoles and then created a bait called Bufo Tabs, which draw them in large numbers.
“The traps are placed in shallow water where cane toad tadpoles congregate, with one tablet able to attract hundreds to thousands of tadpoles in just a few hours, should they be prevalent in those numbers.”
Cr Williams said it was hoped the trials would lead to the wider adoption of new systems to tackle the 0.5% of individual cane toads that survived to reproduce after hatching.
Cane toad and cane toad tadpole numbers caught will be recorded and they will then be disposed of humanely. Cooling in a fridge, followed by freezing and disposal on bin day is one method of humane disposal.
Residents choosing to remove cane toads and cane toad tadpoles from their own properties should remember that cane toads have poisonous glands, so appropriate personal protective equipment should be used. Also, please keep your pets safe and do not allow them to have access to cane toads.
Visit the state Department of Agriculture and Fisheries website for more information on cane toads.
For more information about Council’s Environmental Partnerships Programs, or the upcoming trial, contact the IndigiScapes Environmental Education Centre on 3824 8611.