Cane toads

Cane toad

Cane toads are an introduced species which are readily adapted to local 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.


During the warmer months, cane toads are known to breed in waterbodies including ponds, creeks, stormwater basins and dams following rainfall. Following the tadpole stage, juvenile cane toads leave the water and large numbers may be seen on streets, footpaths, parks and within backyards. These numbers and their impacts on residents typically decrease rapidly as the juvenile toads disperse or are eaten by predators. 

What Council is doing

In May 2018, Council became an affiliate of the University of Queensland’s Cane Toad Challenge, contributing to ongoing research and management.

As part of the program Council officers previously 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 removed an estimated 400,000 cane toad tadpoles from multiple waterbodies across the region.

Tadpole trapping technology patented by the University of Queensland has now been licensed to Watergum, an Australian not-for-profit organisation that manages events and programs that engage the community to help the environment. Visit Watergum for information on how to get involved in cane toad tadpole trapping.

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 Watergum for information about humane euthanasia of adult toads.
  • Ensure you are only targeting cane toads. FrogSafe assists residents in correctly identifying cane toads and their eggs. 

Further information

For further information regarding the cane toad visit Biosecurity Queensland.