Before you start trapping, please read through this list to maximise your trapping potential.
1) Are there tadpoles visible? Cane toad tadpoles swarm together and will be out, even during the heat of the day. Only use your trap when you see plenty of tadpoles. You have a minimum of 3 weeks before they will start to leave the water so don’t rush, wait until there are plenty and get the best use out of your bait. Place your trap as near to tadpole swarms as you can.
2) Remember your bait lasts for 24 hours of water-time. You can remove your bait, let it dry out, and replace it multiple times. This means you can use 1 bait for 3 separate 8 hour periods over a week if you want to. Get the most out of your bait!
3) Only partially submerge your trap. If the trap is fully submerged, bait scent will leak out of the lid and form a cloud around the trap, giving the tadpoles no reason to swim into it. The bait scent must only come out of the funnels. This creates a clear bait plume which the tadpoles will follow, straight into the trap. Ideally, the trap should be submerged so that the funnel spouts are just covered by the water.
4) Try not to move your trap so that you don’t disrupt the bait plume.
5) Regularly check your silicone joints to make sure they are intact. If you suspect there is a problem you can test them by placing in the sink with some food colouring in the trap and seeing if the food colouring leaks out from anywhere other than the funnels. Again, if the bait scent leaks from anywhere other than the funnels, there will be no clear scent plume and the tadpoles will simply congregate around the trap, with no reason to enter it.
6) Clean your trap after each use with a sponge and hot water before leaving to dry in the sun. This will remove the scent of past catches. Different family groups don’t like to mix.
7) Place your trap in an area of still water within your pond, dam or creek. If there is a current then the bait scent will be carried away with it.
8) Use the right number of traps for your body of water. If you use two traps in a small area, the bait plumes will join and create a cloud, giving the tadpoles no reason to enter the traps. Using two traps can work against you.
9) Check your trap regularly and scoop out the tadpoles. Remember, if tadpoles die in your trap it will become ineffective as dead tadpoles release a chemical that warns all other tadpoles to stay away.
10) Remember, dead tadpoles are TOXIC to native animals and pets. So you must bag, freeze, count (as best you can for data collection purposes) and bin them.
11) PLEASE, Please, Please upload your data! It takes 2 minutes to complete a data entry form and it is very important that we are able to monitor how successful the program is.
12) Go out toad busting at dusk/night! Euthanise them by refrigerating for 4-8 hours and then freezing them, then arrange collection/delivery with us! (Post covid-19)
Download and Print this Troubleshooting Checklist.
When you start trapping, if you’re not getting the results you were expecting then work your way through this list to see if you can troubleshoot your problem. If you can’t resolve the issue and are still getting poor results then contact us at email@example.com and we will investigate.
Like the Watergum facebook page to keep up to date with all of our news and events.
The Watergum cane toad group is a group especially for those who are passionate about cane toad control. It is a space where you can request ID’s, share behavioural observations and discuss your catch with us and other enthusiasts and CTC members. We regularly post ID aids, interesting research and keep you up to date with all the cane toad news.