Toadbusting turns to new battlefront

By REN LANZONnewsroom@gladstoneobserver.com.au

TOADBUSTING appears to have become something of a popular activity in Gladstone, according to Gladstone area Waterwatch.

Apparently a number of Gladstone residents are enjoying the thrill of the chase, with 29 people turning out for last Wednesday's toadbusting session at Reg Tanna Park (the Duck Ponds).

Toadbusting co-ordinator Anna Hitchcock said she has had the biggest ever turnout with more than 500 toads captured on the day.

This was despite the fact there were no longer the big toad swarms once seen at the Duck Ponds.

Ms Hitchcock said tomorrow night should be a big hunt because the campaign was turning its attention on the virtually untouched lakes at Beaumont Park Estate.

Ms Hitchcock said previously little toadbusting had been carried out in that area and huge numbers of toads still existed.

"I hope we have another good turnout of volunteers,'' she said.

She said in the early days of the toadbusting campaign, which then were conducted during the day, toads covered the Reg Tanna Park area and native frogs were rarely seen.

These days toads are hunted at night when they are more visible.

Toadbusters have to range further to find the environmental menaces, but more native frogs are seen these days, too. Both are indications of the success of the campaigns. Ms Hitchcock is to present a paper on toads and the toadbusting campaign at the National Waterwatch Conference, titled Navigating the Rapids, in Melbourne in February.

Anyone wanting to take part in the next toadbusting session can ring Ms Hitchcock on 0412 502 798



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