Toad catching: A new way to spend Friday nights

The Springfield Lakes Nature Care group have started a cane toad catching challenge.
The Springfield Lakes Nature Care group have started a cane toad catching challenge. Matthew Purcell

HATE toads? You can join Springfield Lakes Nature Care group to catch and kill them every month.

They hold cane toad catching nights on the first Friday of the month from September to March.

The most recent night saw 20 scouts from Goodna join the group to catch 75 of the pest animals from around the Spring Lake Parklands.

Springfield Lakes Nature Care (SLNC) President Luise Manning said it was a good start to cane toad breeding season.

"Last year we were catching between 100 to 200 cane toads on our organised cane toad catching nights," Mrs Manning said.

"Residents and members along with Springfield Lakes and Redbank Plains scouts have helped to eradicate 1107 adult cane toads and over 747 small toadlets from Spring Lake.

"We did hear more native frogs calling from the Rain Gardens situated adjacent to Spring Lake and saw more spiders and insects so that is really pleasing.

"We even found a tiny Eastern Sedge frog."

Anyone interested in volunteering can meet at the barbecue tables near the pontoon at 7pm.

Mrs Manning said all you need to bring is a bucket with a lid and a torch or head lamp.

"We will provide disposable surgical gloves for medium to large size but if you have young children rubber garden gloves might fit your child better."

SLNC will be setting up traps in the Spring Lake sediment pond and the top end of Regatta Lake near Joe Guthrie Park to catch cane toad tadpoles, as the tadpoles eat native frog eggs.

"The traps will reduce the amount of small toadlets that emerge from the lakes as each female toad can lay from 1000 to 10,000 eggs.

"Buffo tab baits made from the cane toad's toxin glands, developed by the University of Queensland, are placed inside the container to entice the tadpoles into the trap, 24 hours later the trap is emptied and the tadpoles are placed in a fridge for 24 hours before freezing them and disposing of them.

"This method is very effective and will help our native reptiles and birds who often eat the toadlets.

"The cane toads are cannibals and will eat the toadlets when they emerge from the water, so they are also deprived of food sources."

Mrs Manning said cane toads were exotic pests that wrecked havoc in the environment by eating vast amounts of insects that would otherwise feed our native birds, lizards and small mammals, and their toxic mucus kills most lizards and many mammals that try and eat them.

They are also a pest in urban environments, these pests cannot be eliminated but they can be controlled so that they have less of an impact.

SLNC is holding a toad catching challlenge to show interested community groups and residents how to humanely control excessive populations of cane toads including the correct identification of toads to ensure native frogs are not targeted.

When: Friday October 5 at 7pm. Please wear closed in shoes, BYO torch and bucket.

Where: Meet at the Spring Lake pontoon opposite the IGA on Springfield Lakes Blvd


Topics:  cane toads pest animals springfield lakes nature care group whats on