Watergum’s Cane Toad Tadpole Trapping

Watergum’s Cane Toad Challenge revolutionises the control of this pest.

The Cane Toad Challenge is a revolutionary method of cane toad control that uses the toad’s own toxins against them. It involves collecting adult cane toads and the trapping of tadpoles in tadpole traps using lures made from cane toad glands.

According to Gold Coast environmental organisation Watergum, each tadpole trap is capable of catching up to 4000 tadpoles in one go, with perseverance of these activities succeeding in almost eradicating toads from members’ properties.

So why do it? When the cane toads retreat, native animals flourish, water quality improves and property owners and pets get their gardens back.

Australia’s cane toad problem began in 1935 when 102 cane toads were brought to Queensland to try and tackle the cane beetle which was wreaking havoc for Australian farmers. There are now over 2 billion cane toads in Australia with their numbers increasing every day. Each female cane toad can lay up to 70,000 eggs a year.

Cane toads present a serious threat to pets, wildlife and agriculture through their ability to rapidly reproduce and monopolise habitat, and by possessing a deadly toxin in the glands on the back of their necks. Toads are even toxic after death, so roadkill or discarded toad bodies still present a significant threat to dogs and wildlife. The only solution is to entirely remove them from the environment.

Cane toads have huge appetites and a lack of natural predators which allows them to quickly take over vital habit from Australian wildlife. This means they are a big menace to all Australian species, not just the ones that attempt to eat them such as Goannas and Quolls which have experienced significant decline in some areas due to cane toads.

As well as presenting a significant danger to pets and wildlife, cane toads cause serious issues in agriculture. Their highly toxic egg strings and tadpoles pollute drinking water and adults eat all the dung beetles causing dung to pile up. Where there’s dung, there’s parasites and this leads to serious health problems in cattle, sheep and other farm animals.

Traps can be purchased from Watergum and tadpole lures are free. You can email canetoads@watergum.org for more information, and find out more about Watergum’s Cane Toad Challenge by visiting the watergum.org/cane-toad-challenge, and get prepared for next season.

Be first to comment