The Cane Toad Challenge UQ Researcher and Professor Rob Capon and the team at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience have found a way to trap Cane Toad Tadpoles, using a toxin the Cane Toad produces, as an attractant. The traps can attract up to 20,000 Cane Toad tadpoles at a time.
The Cane Toad Challenge is a major Citizen Science Project engaging local government, industry partners, community groups, and private residents helping to refine the trapping technique and develop a commercially viable product anyone can buy off the shelf and use, with the aim of controlling Cane Toads and potentially eradicating them.
Cane Toads were first introduced in Queensland in 1935, in a failed attempt to control pest beetles in the cane industry. Cane Toads have since spread across Queensland, the Northern Territory, some areas of New South Wales, and are now encroaching on Western Australia.
Cane Toads are night time predators, primarily eating insects and snails. However, because of the poisonous glands on their back, they can also be deadly to predators. Female Cane Toads can lay between 8,000 and 30,000 eggs at a time, whilst native Australian Frogs only lay 1,000 to 2,000 eggs per year. With these features, it is easy to see why Cane Toads have spread so easily, and are outcompeting our native species.
Stay tuned for upcoming details on projects NPAQ may be running to trial the traps.
Image: Cleared habitat in Niassa Reserve, Mozambique. James Allan
Australia is the Worst at Protecting Ecosystems from Habitat Loss 15% of the world's land area is part of a Protected Area Estate, but protection of specific ecosystems is not keeping up with the rate of habitat loss, and Australia is the worst of all developed countries at combating habitat loss.
The Wet Tropics Management Authority has been given $11.8 million in State and Federal funding to continue and expand their programs for the eradication of the Yellow Crazy Ant, in and around North Qld's World Heritage Areas.
The Yellow Crazy Ant is an exotic species originating from Africa, first discovered around Cairns in 2001.
Image: Magnetic Island National Park walking track, NPSR.
New Walking Track in Magnetic Island National Park
A new 500m walking track, on Magnetic Island has been opened. The new track links Horseshoe Bay to the Balding Bay and Radical Bay walking tracks, eliminating issues with inaccessibility during high tide.
Image: North Stradbroke Island Sand Mine, Giulio Saggin, ABC News
Sand Mining Phase-out Plans for North Stradbroke Island $5 million in funding has been announced this week for current Sibelco workers that choose to stay on the island after the sand mines are closed. The Workers Assistance Scheme will help employees to move on to new employment and training opportunities in sustainable tourism, local business, education and training. Sand mining on the island is to be phased out by 2019.
Read the Media Release here.
Image: Lauren Bath, Tourism & Events QLD
Loggerhead Turtle Monitoring It's a tough job, but someone has to do it. This article by The Guardian is a salute to citizen scientists Nev and Bev. They have spent every summer for the last 40 years based at Wreck Rock to collect turtle nesting data to add to the research of DEHP Principal Scientist Col Limpus. This data has vastly improved the understanding of their behaviour and hatchling survival statistics.
Tuesday 24 January 2017 Fauna Spotting & Handling Workshop
hosted by Greening Australia
A hands-on opportunity to gain practical skills handling a wide range of SEQ wildlife.
Successful completion of this training may be used for an application for a Damage Mitigation Permit or Rehabilitation Permit (Spotter/Catcher Endorsed) in Queensland.
For Details Contact:
Michele Malt – Training Coordinator | Greening Australia
333 Bennetts Road, Norman Park, Qld 4170
P 07 3902 4450 | E MMalt@greeningaustralia.org.au
Tuesday 24 January Call for Volunteers
Fire Ant Picnic
hosted by Invasive Species Council
As you might be aware the Invasive Species Council has for several months been conducting a campaign for full funding of red imported fire ant eradication. Fire ants are a threat to both people and the environment – causing the reduction of population and habitat for reptile, frog and bird populations as well as posing a threat to small and newborn mammals.
As a part of our ongoing campaign the ISC will be conducting a street theatre exercise at South Bank on Tuesday the 24th of January at 10am. The point of the activity will be to generate social and traditional media attention to the impact of ongoing inaction on fire ant control.
Volunteers are needed to participate in a ‘fire ant picnic’ and to hand out fliers to members of the public. If you can spare an hour to assist with this, please contact: Reece Pianta, Outreach Officer on 0422 935 665 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday 18th February 2017
Vegetation Management Project
at Jolly’s Lookout, D’Aguilar National Park
Leader: Angus McElnea
0429 854 446 or email@example.com
Wildlife Spotter Ongoing
Become a citizen scientist and assist researchers by looking for animals in wilderness photos taken by automated cameras around Australia. Anyone can join in and you can do it all online.
Immerse yourself in a thrilling wildlife experience – go batty for Mt Etna tours! Are you ready for an evening under the stars to discover the incredible history of Mt Etna and witness an amazing wildlife experience?
Join the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) rangers for an exciting adventure in Mt Etna Caves National Park 25km north of Rockhampton
Each summer, rangers lead small groups of visitors to see the amazing sight of tens of thousands of tiny insect-eating bats emerging from Bat Cleft at sunset to feed.
QPWS Principal Ranger Peter Moore said this summer’s tours would run from Friday 2 December until mid-February.
Bat Cleft tours are held on Monday, Friday and Saturday evenings. Bookings are required as numbers are limited.
Tours cost $11.05 for adults, $5.40 for children, $7.20 for pensioners and $33.00 for a family.
For further information and bookings, please contact the QPWS Rockhampton office on (07) 4936 0511 during business hours and 0429 630 923 after hours.