Big Bertha, who weighed in at more than 500 grams.
Big Bertha, who weighed in at more than 500 grams. Peter Gibney

Cane toads here to stay

TWEED homeowners have been told the there is little they can do to curb the number of cane toads because the “horse has bolted” .

The advice comes as a good wet summer has encouraged some cane toads to put on extra weight, including a 515gram monster which was found by Bryon council officers on the banks of the Brunswick River last week - a record for the Byron Shire.

But they've been far, far bigger on the Tweed in the past.

Tweed Shire Council entomologist Clive Easton said toads had reached weights of a kilogram or more when they first invaded the Tweed in the 1960s.

“There were some monsters when they first came through,” he said. “They had easy picking food-wise then. You don't tend to find the really big ones in the environment after a while.”

He said Tweed homeowners could make a small difference to the toad population on their own properties but a Byron-style “toad muster” would have little impact here.

“There's next to nothing we can do,” he said. “The horse bolted 30 years ago here.”

Mr Easton said cane toads ate almost anything that moved which they could “scoff down”, but he found it interesting that the Brunswick River “monster” had eaten molluscs.

A stomach analysis showed that the toad had eaten five crabs and three molluscs.



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