Friday, 7 September 2012

Cane toad busts stepped up as Top End numbers fall - via Herp Digest

An environmental action group says cane toad numbers in the Top End appear to be down from last year.
By By Melanie Arnost, ABC – Tue, Aug 21, 2012 
An environmental action group says cane toad numbers in the Top End appear to be down from last year.
Frog Watch is conducting its annual cane toad audit in the Darwin area and is conducting toad busting programs every night this week.
Co-ordinator Graeme Sawyer says the group has made good progress in stopping the cane toad population from growing.
He says Darwin has a low number of toads compared to other places in Australia.
"Talking to people in Cairns and places in Queensland at the moment, they are just completely flooded with toads," he said.
"People might have 30 or 40 toads in their backyards.
"Most people in Darwin haven't got any in their backyard and the occasional one here and there.
"It is completely different and largely due to the fact that the population of Darwin has been really switched on to toad control from day one."
Mr Sawyer says he does not know why cane toad numbers are down.
"We are not sure whether it is because of cold weather or whether it is going to show that we've made some good progress in Darwin in the last 12 months," he said.
"Certainly we got some good work done last wet (season) and the breeding events that happened, like the one at Marrara golf course where we got 60,000 baby toads before they actually got out and away.
"We think that has made a pretty solid dent in the numbers."
Mr Sawyer says continuing toad busting programs are important.
"We will get in to more regular and serious toad busting right through from now until the rains come back," he said.
"Now we are getting into the warmer end of the dry season, the toads will be in their refuge mode.
"That's the time when we can do the most damage to their populations."

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