21.1 C
Byron Shire
May 9, 2021

Clarence Landcare’s Springer Spaniel toad buster

Latest News

Join Clarkes Beach paddle out this weekend to stop massive oil and gas field project

Hundreds of local surfers and water-lovers will paddle out at Clarke’s Beach over the weekend to protest against a massive oil and gas field proposed for the NSW coast.

Other News

From go to whoa – Norco Primex expo covers it all

Norco and Primex are bringing a three-day sustainable farming and primary industry expo to you.

Jonson Street bus shelter gone and an era ended

Byron Shire Council says that the wooden bus shelter on Jonson Street outside the Byron Visitors Centre is being removed today with all bus services operating from the new bus interchange on Butler Street in Byron Bay

Why do we destroy what we love?

Nan Nicholson, The Channon I have been an environmental activist for over 50 years (I started when I was a...

More money for Byron Shire roads and bridges

The NSW government has announced almost $5 million dollars in funding for Byron Shire infrastructure.

Water strategy

Alan Dickens, Brunswick Heads The people of Mullumbimby would be aware that Byron Shire Council (BSC) intends to hand over...

Kingscliff man charged over rape allegations

Tweed Byron police have arrested a 35-year-old Kingscliff man over rape allegations.

Springer Spaniel with a nose for toads, Tommy, and handler Steve Austin, hard at work in the Lower Clarence Floodplain. Photo Nigel Blake.

As the reach of the cane toad marches ever farther south, the Clarence Landcare Toad Busters have engaged an enthusiastic recruit on the front line of the Toad Biosecurity Containment Zone.

Tommy is an English Springer Spaniel trained to sniff out cane toads and his work with trainer Steve Austin is helping to trial the effectiveness of sniffer dogs in detecting new cane toad arrivals.

This project is supported by North Coast Local Land Services, through funding from the Australian Government’s Wildlife and Habitat Bushfire Recovery Program.

The cane toad menace continues to cause havoc to native wildlife. Brian.Gratwicke/Flickr.com

Fig Forest, Clarence Landcare’s Cane Toad project coordinator, says that Shark Creek, in the lower Clarence, is just beyond the biosecurity containment zone for toads.

‘Tommy lets us know if any toads have hopped this far yet,’ Mr Forest. ‘Thankfully no toads were detected.

‘We’ve seen evidence of Red-belly black snakes along the creek which indicates that toads have not arrived yet. Red-bellies are usually the first victims of toads as they mistake young toads for their normal diet of native frogs.

‘Cane Toads are an Alert Species in the North Coast Regional Strategic Pest Animal Management Plan because they represent a significant threat to the region’s biodiversity.’

Nigel Blake from North Coast Local Land Services explains that the community must work together to ensure early detection of Cane Toads to enable swift and effective management of the species.

‘Cane toads are a huge biosecurity concern,’ says Mr Blake. ‘We know that they are great hitchhikers and stowaways and they are increasingly turning up in areas all over NSW.

‘Land managers and community members play a critical role in reporting any sightings of Cane Toads.’

Nigel said it’s been a tough year for the local toad control program. ‘Firstly, fires removed most of the undergrowth, making it easier for toads to travel, followed by drought-breaking rains and an increase in breeding.

‘Now, COVID-19 restrictions have made the collection efforts by volunteers and contractors very difficult.

‘These challenges are why the potential for detection dogs to assist in the early capture of these incomers is exciting and something we hope to use in other parts of the region.’ he said.

It is important that Cane Toads spotted in the biosecurity zone are reported.

The DPIE guide for reporting Cane toads explains what to do if you spot a toad.

Visit the DPIE website for more information.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. Every year around November, cane toad tadpoles breed in water catchments by the millions.
    The council dam behind our property spawns thousands, they come up onto the land and the ground is alive! Thats just one dam.
    This is when action needs to be taken. I have contacted the council and requests for action is ignored!
    The cane toad tadpole need to be stopped before they reach the land.
    Simple collection of the tadpole with fine netting of waterways by council staff, would eliminate millions?
    Perhaps Govt could create an “On water border force”, Cane Toad Tadpole eradication squad, for our cash starved councils?
    It may well be the only thing these Federal or State LNP Govt’s ever achieve?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Man dead after boat capsizes near Yamba

Police say a man has died and a second has been taken to hospital after a boat capsized south of Yamba this morning.

Jonson Street bus shelter gone and an era ended

Byron Shire Council says that the wooden bus shelter on Jonson Street outside the Byron Visitors Centre is being removed today with all bus services operating from the new bus interchange on Butler Street in Byron Bay

Upside down river

Tim Harrington, Lennox Head Letter contributor Richard White (letters 21/4/21) quite correctly identifies the Richmond River as an ‘upside down river’ and nowhere is this more...

Ballina Dragons’ great results at Urunga

The Ballina Dragon Boat Racing Club is a group of paddling people from all walks of life who enjoy being out on the water having fun and keeping fit.