Following the flood in January 2013 the dam was full to overflowing and lovely to behold.
We were unaware that this had set the scene for a vast hatchery… for cane toad tadpoles. One day we noticed a large black swarm in the dam and were aghast to see these tadpoles. Ian and Andrew wielded the pool scooper to catch and lift out dozens of them onto the grass.
Unfortunately the reach of the scooper was was only long enough to catch smaller colonies around the perimeter… but every tadpole counted as a single adult toad that would wreak havoc with native wildlife – or so we had believed. A new website that provides the latest research is much more promising for the fate of native wildlife – http://www.canetoadsinoz.com/debunkingcanetoadimpactmyths.html
Let’s hope their research is correct because squillions of them were being reproduced during this wet season (imagine all the dams, waterholes, wetlands and waterways along the Queensland coast!) and as they turned from tadpoles to toads the ground in the side paddock was alive and hopping!
As the researchers point out, ‘ The biggest obstacle to getting rid of cane toads is that a single clutch can contain more than 30,000 eggs. This means that even if you catch and kill 99% of the adult toads in an area, the few that are left can produce so many offspring, that before you know it you are back to where you started – just as many cane toads as ever.’
At least the crows where we live have adapted and can flip the toad to eat its gizzards without touching the poisonous glands.