Toadbusters resumes pond hunt

By NATALIE PEUTnataliep@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org

IF there's something strange in your neighbourhood, who you gonna call? Toadbusters.

Gladstone's 10,000th toad is expected to be busted on January 24 by Gladstone Toadbusters.

The family fun activity is going strongly in its fifth season. Group co-ordinator Anna Hitchcock said the 46 volunteers that turn out each session had collected 9954 cane toads.

'Toadbusters are about raising awarenss about the impact that cane toads can have on native wildlife around wetlands,' Ms Hitchcock said.

'While we will never be able to eliminate cane toads, we can certainly reduce the numbers.

'We focus on breeding adults as there are some small native frogs which can be mistaken for cane toads.'

Ms Hitchcock said the group used protective gear to capture the cane toads.

'All the volunteers wear safety glasses and gloves, because cane toads can be quite dangerous,' she said.

'The cane toads have a poison sack and if it squirts you in the eye, it can blind you.'

"When we have caught the toads with bags, we bag three times and they are then disposed of humanely by freezing with the assistance of the Gladstone City council.

'By putting them in the freezer, because they don't take to the cold.'

Anna said if others were wanting to remove toads from their home they should wear gloves and put them in bags to freeze them.

'People need to be extremely careful, because they are potentially dangerous,' she said.

The new toad busters season on Tuesdays from 7pm resumes tomorrow, with further collection sessions on January 24 and 31, and February 7, 14, 21 and 28 at the Duckponds, Glenlyon Road.

For information, phone Anna Hitchcock on 0412 502 798.



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