Cane toads

Cane toad

Cane toads are an introduced species which have readily adapted to the South East Queensland climatic conditions and are found throughout the Moreton Bay region. Cane toads are not listed as a prohibited or restricted invasive animal under the Queensland Government’s Biosecurity Act 2014.

Cane toads can be identified by the large poison glands situated behind their eyes. They are indiscriminate feeders with their diet only restricted by the size of their mouth. In urban areas, pet food can be a favourite food source.

Some native wildlife species such as crows and keelbacks (freshwater snakes) have adapted to become predators of cane toads. 

Breeding

During the warmer months, cane toads are known to breed in ponds, creeks, stormwater basins and so on following rainfall. Following the tadpoles stage, the juvenile cane toads leave the waterbodies which can result in large numbers of juvenile cane toads on streets, footpaths and within backyards. These numbers and their impacts on residents typically decrease rapidly as the juvenile toads disperse or are eaten by predators.

What is Council doing

In May 2018, Council became an affiliate of the University of Queensland’s Cane Toad Challenge. This partnership allows Council to contribute to ongoing cane toad management research at the University of Queensland.

As part of the program Council officers have completed extensive field trials of the University of Queensland’s BufoTabs, small tabs that release a manufactured attractant to entice tadpoles into a specially designed trap. The combination of the trap design and the BufoTabs minimise trapping any frog tadpoles. As a result, Council has removed approximately 410,000 cane toad tadpoles from several waterbodies across the region.

Under the research agreement, Council is unable supply BufoTabs to the public.

Find out more about the University of Queensland’s Cane Toad Challenge.

What can residents do?

Limit access to breeding places:

  • Fence waterbodies such as fish ponds and water fountains. Fencing should be at least 50cm high and have holes no larger than 1cm in diameter. Fencing should be dug at least 10cm into the ground to ensure cane toads cannot dig or push under the fence. Native frogs can climb or jump and will not be excluded.
  • Plant dense, native groundcovers such as Lomandra around waterbodies. Cane toads prefer open, grassy areas which allow them to move quickly in search of food.
  • For more information on environmental restoration on your property consider joining the Land for Wildlife program.

Limit access to food

  • Remove pet food from outside areas once your pet has finished eating, or feed your pet inside.
  • Dispose of kitchen scraps in a sealed bin or compost scraps in a sealed bin that limits the entry of cane toads.

Remove cane toads and their tadpole

  • Humanely catch and dispose of cane toad adults, eggs and tadpoles on your property. Visit RSPCA for the most up-to-date information on the humane euthanasia of cane toads.
  • Ensure you are only targeting cane toads. FrogSafe assists residents in correctly identifying cane toads and their eggs.

Report sightings

  • Report your cane toad sightings to Toad Scan.

Further information

For further information regarding the cane toad visit Biosecurity Queensland.