Saturday, October 9, 2010

The first toad mission this season - Mororo 8/10/10

I was so excited to get back out and see what toads we would find this season, as were quite a few others, I know. The rain stopped for our mission and then started just as we pulled up stumps at 11pm - how cool. The nights are still a little cool, so we were not too sure how many toads we would find, but we went to Mororo to see what we would find.

I spent 2 hours pre-dark taking Dave Newell from SCU on a tour of Mororo toad sites and discussing toads generally in the Clarence Valley and what options we might have for some meaningful research sites and data gathering ideas. I saw his shoulders slumping further as we went on our tour, but it was great to share our experiences with him and talk toads and frogs. Dave said he is going to do some thinking about our situation and get back to me with some ideas. Thanks Dave for your time while on holidays.

Then we met at the Lewis Lane cane pad, where I presented everyone with a spiffy new vest! Thanks Caring for Country, CMA and Landcare!! Sure beats the texta writing and orange garbage bags some of us had last year. I just need to get better at taking photos of Hi-Vis vests at night!

A big crew of 17 meant we could form 3 teams, which was great. Scott, Hannah, Sophie and I were lucky enough to score Dave for a few hours, who gave us some great instructions on how to sex sub-adult toads. we will pass this on next time out in the paddock. Our team hit Banana Rd and then Nicola's and Archie's place on Mororo Rd. We had only 43 toads by the end of this, but I then went to Ben's and scored another 30 (plus 2 dead tortoises who are awaiting dissection).

Kath's team went to Harry's, McCondell Island Rd and then Brian's and picked up a great 58 toads, many juveniles but also some big ones at Harry's. However, the prize for the night, as usual, went to Bevan's rent-a-crowd. This small gun team of Bevan, Rob, Sharon and Bernie picked up a whopping 247 toads on just 2 properties at the end of Lewis Lane. 123 of these were juveniles on Glen's place, but well done guys. Thus, our total for the night was 378. Not bad for our first effort.

It was fabulous to get back out for my exercise and I loved racing around at night in gumboots, with torch, chasing toads. Doesn't everyone?! I know Kath does, but I'm not too sure about Sophie... even lollies failed to raise her fading spirits. Good on you Sophie and Hannah for helping out the Clarence Valley fauna. Keep checking the calendar on the CVCIA website for our next planned toad outing. Cheers, Sharon.