Operation Toad Day Out
Townsville City Council invites you to join the Operation Toad Day Out! Get together with your friends, schools or scout groups and organise your very own Operation Toad Day Out this year. The challenge is to capture as many Cane Toads as you can, but they have to be captured alive and presented unharmed. Help to protect and free your local area from this invader. Cane Toads have been a major environmental menace in North Queensland for decades. If left unchecked, Cane Toads will damage our natural habitat and threaten our local frogs population, not speaking of many other native animals that see the Toads as prey and succumb to their poison.
This year, we are celebrating the fith year of Operation Toad Day Out. After the success of Toad Day Out in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, the event has become an annual feature. The supports from the community for this event has been continuing and growing and we now have some dedicated community groups supporting this initiative.
You too can join with the rest of your local community and play your part in reducing the numbers of these pests in a humane way.
There are great prizes to be won including $1000.00 in Prize Money and Cane Toad Trophies!
When: Sunday 24 March
Where: Ross River Dam Park - Kelso at end of Riverway Drive
Download Toad Day Out Poster and spread the message!
The Toad Day Out event on Sunday will be an educational and fun filled day for the whole family with educational and information displays from various organisation, children activities and entertainment including Hands on Wildife, Face Painting, Toad Races as well as free sausage sizzle. Get acquainted with some of our common pest animals and plants or talk to the many people involved in this area on how you can manage your property for pests.
If you are planning to participate in this year's Earth Hour on Saturday 23 March, why not use this time for a little adventure with Operation Toad Day Out? You could 'kill two birds with one stone!" You don't have to spend your Earth Hour indoor in the dark being bored. A more interesting way would be to go outdoor and hunt for Cane Toads. The balmy evening is perfect to spend outdoors. The wet season has provided good conditions for the cane toads to multiply, so there will be many of them hopping around our region - even in your own backyard!
Rules and Conditions
- Toads must be ALIVE and UNHARMED or they will not be able to be eligible.
- Only cane toads will be accepted. Visit www.frogsnotcanetoads.com.au for some help in telling toads apart from native frogs.
- Toads must be at least 50mm (5cm).
- All toads will be identified by experts to make sure that no native frogs are brought in by mistake. All toads will then be disposed of humanely and given to JCU and a local taxidermist.
- Categories include heaviest toad and heaviest total weight of toads for under 13 years of age and over 13 years of age. There will also be a prize for the school with the most toads (by weight).
Download Toad Day Out Tip Sheet for more information on planning your Mission!
Is it safe?
While toads are poisonous, if you follow these simple tips they can be handled in a safe way. Toads will only squirt out poison if you hit them or mistreat them, but they may urinate when you pick them up or release some poison on their glands or skin.
It is recommended you wear gloves, however, the poison is only dangerous if you ingest it. Do not grab toads from the head as they are more likely to release poison (they think they are being eaten). Keep them away from your eyes at all times. Once you are finished WASH YOUR HANDS.
Adults, please supervise your children and remember to apply mosquito repellent.
Where to find toads
Toads can best be found in the early evening, when they congregate under light to catch insects. Your local street light is often a good place (be careful of local traffic). They also love wet low lying areas.
What can I do throughout the rest of the year
To really make an impact on toad populations, you can capture toads all year round. The most humane method, as prescribed by the RSPCA, is as follows:
- Capture toads and place in a plastic bag.
- Place the bag and toad into a plastic container and put the lid on.
- Now place the whole thing into your refrigerator (at 4°C) and leave it there for 12 hours. This does not kill the toad but does anaesthetise it.
- Next place the container with toad into the freezer (-20°C) for at least 48 hours. This last step will painlessly kill the toad.
- Thoughtfully dispose of the body by putting the entire thing into your wheelie bin. Of course this is best done on bin day to avoid any nasty smell!