After all the recent rain, cane toads are on the move and looking for breeding sites. And with the toads come the musters.
As part of the Tweed Byron Bush Futures program, Byron Shire Council is hosting cane toad musters in February.
This Thursday 9 February, the Bangalow Land and Rivercare Group is preparing for Bangalow’s first cane toad muster of 2012, while Fern Beach Toad Busters will be mustering toads on Saturday 11 February.
Bangalow Land and Rivercare president David Pont said everyone is welcome to come along on Thursday 9 February from 7:30pm till 8:30pm. The group will meet at the Bangalow Weir.
Mr Pont has been surveying areas around Bangalow to find out where the toads are and is encouraging any residents of Bangalow who know where there are large populations of toads to contact Bangalow Landcare at [email protected] or ring David on 0439 622 231.
Fern Beach musterers should meet at the tennis courts in Mia Court at 7:30. They will muster till 9:00pm.
Local Toad Buster Ian Soper has been trapping and monitoring the toads along the new cane toad exclusion fence at Fern Beach. The fence was installed through funding from Bush Futures to limit toad access to the lake.
Mr Soper said neighbours had noticed that there are a lot fewer toads this summer – and far fewer baby toads.
There is also a new exclusion fence at the Ocean Shores Country Club. The Country Club has planted lots of native sedges along waterways; this increases frog habitat and restricts toads from the waterways.
Toads lay their eggs in water including lakes, dams, ponds, drains and even puddles. A single female can lay up to 35,000 eggs in one season.
Cane toads threaten Australian wildlife. So to help save our local wildlife, Byron Shire Council’s Bush Futures invasive species officer Wendy Gibney is working with local Landcare and community groups to control toads.
There are many toad-buster groups around the Shire who have regular musters. If you come to a muster please wear covered shoes, long sleeves and long pants, and bring a torch.
If you have a dam or pond that is a breeding site for toads, you can install a fence or revegetate the area. Council has fact sheets on how to make the fence and which species to plant.
When collecting toads from your own backyard make sure you have caught a toad, not a frog. There are 28 species of frogs in Byron Shire and some of these are brown and bumpy and could be mistaken for toads.
Byron Shire Council has a great poster available for identifying frogs. These are $4 each from Council’s offices in Mullumbimby or free to volunteer toad collectors.
If you would like more information about Cane Toad Musters, please contact Byron Shire Council’s invasive species officer Wendy Gibney on 02 6626 7028.