Caloundra Chamber hops into action to save rare frog species

While Queenslanders across the State are gearing up to support the mighty Cane Toads ahead of the State of Origin Series, the Caloundra Chamber of Commerce have declared them enemy number one.

That is, the real life, warts and all amphibians that have invaded much of the Sunshine State.

Caloundra Chamber of Commerce Acting CEO, Brady Sullivan says that Cane Toads have been identified as one of the key factors behind the declining population of the rare and vulnerable wallum sedge frog species found in the bushland of Baringa.  

“A rapidly multiplying population of Cane Toads have been interrupting the breeding cycle of the vulnerable acid frog in the Aura Development of Baringa,” Brady Sullivan says.

“While Cane Toad eradication is not in the usual remit of services the Chamber provides, we felt that our local business relationships put us in a good position to deliver this environmental outcome.” 

This project was made possible by a $20,000 grant from the Federal Government through the Communities Environment Program which helps support community groups address local environmental priorities.

Federal Member for Fisher, Andrew Wallace says that this grant, and the eleven others awarded by the Morrison Government under this program in Fisher are supporting the community to face important environmental challenges across our region.    

“Whenever Australians think about the Sunshine Coast, they think about our beaches, our lush hinterland, and the native plants and animals that live here. Businesses and community groups in our region want to see that healthy environment protected and they want the chance to get involved. That is what this project will help to deliver, and I am pleased to have been able to support it.” “During this health and economic crisis we must not lose sight of our responsibility to also preserve our spectacular local environment and, with the Morrison Government’s support, this project is going to make an important contribution by preserving one of our region’s unique and vulnerable species.” he said.

While golf clubs and cricket bats have historically been the weapon of choice for Cane Toad extermination, Mr Sullivan says that his organisation is utilising Bufo Tab baits developed by the University of Queensland, which is a far more effective and humane method.

“We have engaged AWEC Environmental Consultants to complete the project which involves installing and monitoring cane toad tadpole traps throughout significant frog habitat areas in the Aura Development area.” Mr Sullivan says.

“It’s important that we reduce the population of the Cane toads within significant breeding habitats of the acid frogs because cane toads and their tadpoles pose such a threat to frog populations.

“This includes competition for food and habitat as well as predation which could see this precious species disappear entirely from the area.”

The project is set to continue until the end of June.

So far Mr Sullivan says the project has been successful in its aim of significantly reducing Cane Toad populations, which reduces pressure on the full lifecycle of the acid frog.

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