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Sexy beast: Cane toad trap poised for roll out as early season looms

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After a three-year trial a cane toad trap capable of snaring 4000 tadpoles at a time is expected to be ready for the upcoming season.

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The lure technology, which works together with a trapping device, was invented by the University of Queensland and is now under license to Gold Coast organisation Watergum. Homemade traps used during trials often caused problems due to poor construction and so Watergum has been working on an alternative solution.

A new manufactured version is almost ready but the exact day and how many will be ready is not yet known, although Watergum are starting information sessions for the public on how to use the trap. The first session will be held on September 28 at Nerang.

The trap uses the toads’ own pheromones to attract tadpoles, trapping them before they grow and reproduce.

The pheromone tricks the tadpoles into thinking they have found the eggs of another female, which they would normally eat, but were instead lured into a trap. Importantly, the lure isn’t harmful to native wildlife and is safe to use in waterways.

The environmentally friendly lure was developed by UQ Institute for Molecular Bioscience researcher Professor Rob Capon and Professor Rick Shine from the University of Sydney.

Watergum’s invasive species manager Emily Vincent said community involvement was the key to impacting the cane toad population.

“We all need to do our but in our own backyards to stop the spread of the cane toads. Neighbourhoods working together have a far greater impact on cane toads in their local area,” she said.

“The tadpole trapping system enables us to impact cane toads at every life stage. We collect the adults in order to make the lures and then we use the lures to to target cane toads at the source (which is) the tadpole stage.

“The technology represents a new era in the effectiveness of cane toad control.”

An early wet season has meant cane toads were already active in south east Queensland.

 

 

 

 

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