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Byron Shire
December 5, 2023

The 2022 Great Cane Toad Muster of Whian Whian

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The Great Cane Toad Musterers of Whian Whian 2022. Photo Tree Faerie

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

Head cane toad wrangler Tamar Cohen. Photo tree Faerie.

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.

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  1. Cane Toads have been here for 100 years. Anything that’s going to go extinct, already has.
    The feral cats, dogs, pigs etc are now in balance with, and have become part of the environment.
    If you wipe them out now, you will have an insect problem.

    • There’s definitely not a balance, the detrimental impacts of these feral animals are still accumulating on native ecosystems.

    • Yes, I also fear this undoubted & genuine community eco-enthusiasm is already a lost cause.
      Nature will adapt or fail – as happened with the introduction of the Dingo, fox and cats to Australia.

      • Nature never fails. 99.99% of all species went extinct before humans even existed. The Dingos, foxes and cats are nature as are humans and all the stuff we create.
        Nothing we have done has damaged the environment as much as the planet and universe has done to it over time. So many great extinction events and local disasters.
        When the dinosaurs went, the mammals survived in the new environmental balance. All mammals are so more advanced than them in resilience, adaptability, sustainability…there is just no contest.

        • i had a few unwanted roosters cleaned up by my local fox i was very thankful because i couldnt bear doing the job because i wasnt bothered by them enough to puck up an axe but iam sure my neighbours were and the fox did it out of actual need not a want. live and let live is the best practice imo.

  2. Cane toads have to go…humanely .As a wildlife carer I have seen the misery /suffering & death they cause. Feral animals are NOT in balance with our ecology just because we have been conditioned to ‘live’ with many of them. This is NOT about us, but about our precious & diminishing wildlife . Cane toads breed like mad are toxic even to secondary predators. Our wildlife has suffered enough since white settlement, so enough is enough. There is NO balance possible with most of our small mammals and /or already threatened & endangered wildlife. WE MUST PERSIST with our efforts to eliminate them or at least reduce their prolific populations.

    • The Dingos, Goannas and Crows in the outback eat Cane Toads. They teach their young to leave the poison sacks alone. Yes, I’ve seen it with my own eyes.
      Nature is cruel. If it wasn’t, we would not have had the evolutionary pressures to evolve above pond scum.
      If you don’t like watching nature work, stop looking.
      Interfering with the integration of the Cane Toad puts you on the same level as the scientists that introduced them in the first place.

    • I could never use that on a Cane Toad……cause my dog likes to lick them to get high after a hard days work. Damn dogs a degenerate hippy. Doesn’t hurt him the vet says, but still.

  3. Great comment Lindy Stacker! So true…there is no balance! Feral animals and a lot of domestic animals kill thousands of native animals every day across the country! We have to do everything we can and more to protect these threatened and endangered animals.


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