The Whian Whian Hall was packed to COVID safe limits on Saturday as the local Landcare hosted a community event including a plant ID seminar and a cane toad muster.
Local rainforest experts Nan and Hugh Nicholson spoke to the group while presenting a slide show about rainforest and other species in the area and how to use their Rainforest Plant Identification Digital Key.
After a complimentary curry and ricer dinner, the group gathered their buckets and nets for a cane toad muster facilitated by cane toad wrangler extraordinaire Tamar Cohen as part of the national Great Cane Toad Muster.
Ms Cohen who works for the Border Rangers – Richmond Valley Landcare Network – is based in Kyogle. She is a Project Officer mostly working on cane toad projects. ‘Cane toads are spreading westward and southwards in New South Wales and I work on the western invasion front line.
The Great Cane Toad Muster launched in 2022
Ms Cohen said the Great Cane Toad Muster was launched this year. ‘It’s being put together by Water Gum who are an organization in the Gold Coast, and Clarence Landcare down in Grafton.
’It’s a national initiative to get everyone out into cane toad affected areas getting together as a community and going and collecting toads. Any toads we catch tonight, we will log as part of the Great Cane Toad Muster.
‘This week, all over Australia, there’s been more than 27,000 toads mustered already.’
Ms Cohen said once the toads are caught they are humanely euthanized. ‘We only promote humane euthanasia. Part of the information session tonight is teaching appropriate cane toad identification so that people aren’t mistaking cane toads confusing them with native frogs. There are a number of native frog species that get mistaken for cane toads.’
Identification is the first step
‘Identification is the first step and how to safely catch them. They are toxic, so we take it safely capturing them, treating them with respect. Being as kind as possible – they are a huge pest but we don’t want to be cruel
Ms Cohen said the most humane use of neither euthanasia method that they promote is the fridge freezer method. ‘They go in the fridge for 12 hours – in a container with ventilation holes, and then into the freezer for 48 hours.’
For more information on the Great Cane Toad Muster, visit: watergum.org/greatcanetoadbust.