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AUS Press 3: Cold response to toad whack

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Posted by: W von Papineu at Tue Feb 22 07:33:53 2011  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by W von Papineu ]  
   

SUNSHINE COAST (Maroochydore, Australia) 19 February 11 Caution Needed on 10 000 Toads Project
Maroochy Waterwatch is calling for caution from residents who are wanting to be involved in councils 10 000 Toads Project on March 18.
Whilst the aim is to collect and kill 10 000 toads on the night, local frogs could also be at risk if people don’t know how to correctly identify the difference between certain species of frogs and toads.
Cerran Fawns from Maroochy Waterwatch says, “We have a number of frog species that are easily confused with toads and a couple of those species are listed as endangered or vulnerable”.
The Giant Barred Frog was thought to be locally extinct but it has been found in the area during recent frog surveys.
She says, ”The Giant Barred Frog is big and brown like a cane toad but it has golden eyes which makes it easy it distinguish the difference”.
The Tusked Frog is fairly common in the area even though listed as vulnerable. It can look very similar to the cane toad as it has a ‘bumpy’ texture.
“We don’t need people collecting and killing frogs on the night. They are already under extreme pressure from development, poor water quality, a killing fungus and the competition from toads ”, she added.
There has been a bumper breeding season of both frogs and toads with the wet season and people need to know the difference between them.
She also added, ”The local wildlife are adapting to the cane toads. Crows will turn the cane toads upside down and eat them and avoid the poison. Some snakes are also able to eat them”.
Sometimes cane toads do get their revenge though. A cane toad has been seen eating a keel back snake.
http://www.mysunshinecoast.com.au/articles/article-display/caution-needed-on-10-00-toads-project,20531

WEST AUSTRALIAN (Perth, Australia) 19 February 11 Cold response to toad whacking day
(AAP) Bashing cane toads to death with a golf club is the preferred option for 60 per cent of those polled in a Queensland newspaper, and the RSPCA is not amused.
Only 9 per cent of respondents to a Sunshine Coast Daily poll said they would choose placing the toads in their fridge or freezer - the method sanctioned by their local council and the RSPCA.
The debate over how best to kill the pests has flared ahead of a council-promoted toad killing evening on March 18, aimed at ending the lives of 10,000 cane toads.
The Sunshine Coast Regional Council and the RSPCA said humane ways to kill the creatures include bagging toads and putting them in the fridge.
The cold sends them to sleep and they can then go into the freezer.
Alternatively one or two drops of clove bud oil will put a toad to sleep and ready for a deep freeze.
Sadly there is a shortage of clove bud oil on the coast north of Brisbane because the oil also deters mould and has been much in demand in Queensland's very wet summer which, ironically, has been very kind to the toad.
RSPCA community relations manager Michael Beatty said there was nothing wrong with humanely killing a cane toad.
"We understand the need for the culling of cane toads," Mr Beatty said in a statement.
"We see it as a necessary evil."
But Mr Beatty said the RSPCA is concerned about cruel, unusual and disturbing killing methods.
"We do have problems with people going out to hit them with golf clubs and the like," he said.
"It's inhumane and doesn't teach people the right message about how to treat any animals."
A light-hearted poll in the newspaper showed only 9 per cent of respondents favoured the fridge and freezer, none supported the clove oil solution, while 23 per cent opted for the answer "Mail it off to New Zealand".
The debate has sparked screens full of comments from readers.
http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/national/8871112/cold-response-to-toad-whacking-day/

THE OBSERVER (Gladstone, Australia) 19 February 11 Toad wranglers' final assault (Kelli Downey)
Conservation Volunteers will launch their final assault on reducing the toad population across the Gladstone region.
On Tuesday the final toadbusting session for the summer season will be held.
A rally for more troops to go into combat has been organised, with volunteers of all ages being called on to arm themselves with their torches and gloves and come hunting one more time.
The finale to Toadbusters will be held at the Reg Tanna Duckponds, on Glenlyon Road, commencing at 6.30pm where the troops will feast on a barbecue before going into a one-hour battle from 7pm to 8pm.
To date a total of 5925 cane toads have been caught by 164 volunteers since the commencement of this season's eradication program on November 16 last year.
Despite the ominous title of the Toadbuster program, the toads are caught by hand and placed in a freezer where they begin to hibernate.
Once frozen, the toads are collected by Dr Scott Wilson from CQUniversity Gladstone Campus and checked for signs of malformation which provides an insight into the health of our local waterways.
Conservation Volunteers volunteer engagement officer Pamela MacDonald said she was hoping for a huge turnout.
“The highest number of volunteers we have had on one night has been 27 and the lowest has been two,” Ms MacDonald said.
“Toadbusting is a great opportunity to make the community more aware of toads and how harmful they can be to the environment.”
With the generous support of the Gladstone Regional Council, Toadbusting on Tuesday nights has been delivered as part of the Summer of Discovery activities.
This year Toadbusting has taken place at the Reg Tanna Duckponds and Beaumont Park in Gladstone, Hazelbrook at Calliope, Colyer Park in Boyne Island and Canoe Point at Tannum Sands.
The program commenced with a four-week blitz of Beaumont Park in Gladstone.
“We met there a few weeks in a row to annihilate them (the toad population),” Ms MacDonald said.
“Last week we went to Calliope for the first time and captured 200 toads – the lowest number we have ever caught.
“But at the same time we saw about eight different native frog species there.
“We usually only see one or two species; sometimes none.”
To register phone Conservation Volunteers on 4972 4969.
http://www.gladstoneobserver.com.au/story/2011/02/19/toad-wranglers-final-assault-gladstone/


   

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