Friday, November 30, 2012

30/11/2012 Yamba Myna Workshop

Thirty-five people packed the Old Kirk Hall at the Yamba Museum to overflowing to hear what can be done about this nasty bird. As well as locals there were also a couple tourists from Sydney and Melbourne who were looking for help with mynas there. We were also pleased to have Bruce who single handed keeps the mynas at bay in Wooli, his comments were most helpful.
Well done Paul our Yamba coordinator who organised the venue and publicity. Thanks also to Helen of Angourie Landcare who delivered flyers to residents of Angourie and Woolewayah and a special thanks to Pam our Grafton coordinator who provided morning tea and assisted on the day.
The audience seemed very interested as there were lots of questions both during the presentation and over the friendly cuppa afterwards. I always felt Yamba was a bit slow on taking up the program but maybe I was wrong, two traps have been placed since the meeting and we are hopeful of more.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

17/11/2012 Granite Borders Landcare - Indian Myna Workshops

Granite Borders Landcare recently received a “Caring for Our Country” grant similar to CVCIA and our IM organisers Laura and Kevin were invited by GBLC to present three workshops to help kick-start their program before the mynas are able to get established in their area. Twelve people attended the Stanthorpe workshop at the Community Garden including one from Warwick who had many mynas in his garden and needed help to try to get something going in Warwick.
 The second session was at Drake 50 kilometres east of Tenterfield.  Although only three people turned up it was still a fruitful session as they were all interested in helping set it up in their little community.

That afternoon the final workshop was at the GBLC Office in Tenterfield. Over twenty people attended what was the most successful meeting with many people offering to help control the pests here. Mark placed his first trap even though it wasn’t quite finished, the trapper was happy to add the finishing touches, if allowed to get trapping straight away.
A lady came to open the hall for the Stanthorpe workshop.  She stayed only to close up but listened to the presentation.  Afterwards she said told us “I’m an environmentalist and would not have considered attending this, but I’ve changed my mind – I didn’t realise how devastating mynas are.  I’m glad I came.”

Saturday, November 3, 2012

News from up North

The latest news from WA - Stop the Toad group inccluding maps, awards and fences. Check out the cool new Wicked Van!
Cheers, Sharon.

Friday, October 26, 2012

26/10/12 - Warregah Toadbusting

What a great night we had at Warregah Island! 201 cane toads. The night was warm with lots of bugs out. We actually had 197 at the end of the night but Rob and Bevan refused to leave until we had 200. We had a newbie along and local too so it was great to meet Al and have his input! Beth modelled our new headlights (my muse!) and Kath and Mark came along again.
Sharon D and Ant complained about my Hip Hop music on the trip up but it was lovely to have the company. Toading on again in about 3-4 weeks at Woombah - keep an eye on the website calendar. Cheers, Sharon.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Toadbusting Year 4 to commence!

Hello everyone. Time to come out of hibernation and get out in the paddock! Tentative toadbust dates have been added into the CVCIA website calendar so check them out and txt/email me if you would like ot come along. Cheers, Sharon.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Rat Survey - Susan Island - 24th June 2012

Oh what a lark! Laura and Kevin went over to Susan Island to help Russell Jago on Saturday (he was eternally grateful) and Bevan and I decided to go over at 5:30am Sunday morning.

Do you know the saying, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas? Well, let's just say Bevan and I had a few "boat issues" but none of them were the boat's fault, were they Bevan?! Paddling the speedboat across the last half of the river warmed me up nicely as it was FREEZING!!

Good news is that only 2 feral rats were trapped over the week thus the island is not overrun with the little blighters. It was lovely to do something else, and in the daytime too! Cheers, Sharon.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Thursday, June 7, 2012


Laura, Pam and I went down to this get together at the Gladstone Heritage Hotel (near Kempsey). Originally it was planned as a Bar-b-que in a nearby park but thankfully it was moved to the hotel when the weather turned bad.
It was attended by the project officers from the three groups representing the areas from Clarence Valley to Port Macquarie and Kempsey. They all gave brief reports on their tactics, progress and results. Also present were several project managers, representatives from the CMA, NPWS and Landcare together with coordinators and volunteers mainly from the local area.
It was pleasing to hear how things are going in the other areas and to see that the CVCIA's program is good shape. We were also able to discuss current trends, trapping tactics and trap building with other like minded people. All in all it was worth the time and travel.
Cheers Kevin

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

26/04/12 - Update from Kimberley Toadbusters

This taken from the Kimberley Toadbusters Newsletter. It's more than just about picking up toads...

Kununurra businesses and homes are literally ‘under siege’ from up to 60 young Indigenous children roaming the streets night after night. Breaking and entry and incalculable costs of damage to infrastructure and local business has increased to levels that have long term residents deciding to retire elsewhere and is affecting the social and economic progress of the town. Sadly these children have no supportive ‘home’ to go back to and the ‘street’ is often safer than the family environment they belong to.
Toad busting has become the social ‘glue’ for many of these children and Kimberley Toad Busters, in partnership with Save the Children, the Justice System, and volunteer community members have been using this unusual activity to keep many of these children otherwise engaged.
As a result of the incredible response to toad busting from many of these troubled Indigenous youth KTB decided to take their toad busting program a step further. “Kimberley Toad Busters have now developed the Kids @ Risk Positive Outcomes Program to address social issues within the community associated with juvenile delinquency” stated Danielle Taylor, KTB Board member and local KDHS teacher. She went on to add “The program aims to reduce anti-social behaviour, increase self-esteem, create positive leadership abilities, create self-awareness, and increase school attendance amongst the youth of Kununurra”.

Cheers, Sharon.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Over 2000 less Indian Mynas in the Clarence Valley

Early in March 2012 the CVCIA Indian Myna control programs tally passed 2000. This is since we have been running it and started recording data in January 2011. A hearty congratulation to all the volunteers involved!

Tucabia tackle their Indian Myna problem head on

The Easter Sunday market at Tucabia (east of Grafton) was a resounding success for the CVCIA Indian Myna trapping program. Even though the market attendance was low we, with a great deal of help from Karen the new Tucabia area contact, placed four traps which will be  delivered  to new trappers and we left her a spare trap. The townspeople we spoke to were supportive and interested and with the enthusiasm of Karen and her husband hopefully the Indian Mynas can be controlled here.
As well we talked to a group of the Queenslanders who visited the market as part of their bus outing from the Sunshine Coast where Indian Mynas are a serious threat to their beloved native birds. They need help and we urged them to attempt to get their council or local Landcare group interested. It’s really disappointing to have to say to such concerned people that it is difficult for us to assist apart from trap plans, advice and sympathy.
We have another trap to deliver to a couple we met here from Coutts Crossing, which will be done later this week on our next visit to Grafton. Incidentally our newest CO2 euthanasing location is at Coutts.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

30/03/12 - Brooms Head Family Toad Night

Well, Brooms Head family toad night ended up being 5 CIA toadbusters and 2 Brooms Head Landcare members, so well done to Robyn and Paul Sharp for coming out to help us. It was wonderufl to pick up some local knowledge (like where to stand to get phone service) and a nice joint activity for two Landcare groups from the area.
Paul & Robyn Sharp from Brooms Head Landcare with CVCIA Landcare member Sharon Davidge
We picked up 68 toads for the night but most concerning was the large females we collected right near the Brooms Head shop.

Sharon Robbins with large female cane toad collected in Brooms Head village.
I lost my voice at the end of the night which made everyone very happy and Bevan, Rob and Sharon R saw a lovely carpet python at Lake Arragan to top the night off. Thanks to the 4 CIA vols that came all that way and thanks to Paul and Robyn for coming out with us. Sharon.
Carpet Python at Lake Arragan. Photo: Bevan Pugh

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Myna Bird equals major problem

A Current Affair Thursday 23rd March 2012

 looks at Canberra’s Indian Myna Control Programs successes. Featuring Bill Handke and Peter Green (PeeGee traps) this feature highlights what can be achieved when a community works together. It‘s worth watching (3.5 min) and can be viewed at:  

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Brooms Head Toad Bustin' - 16/03/12

The same Magnificent 7 cane toad busters from the Yamba Roundup (so proud of myself for thinking of that one!) set out last Friday night to do some new areas in Brooms Head. Bevan's rent-a-crowd took the village and saw a beautiful Carpet Python (who did not want his photo taken!).

Photo: Carpet Python at Brooms Head. Taken by Bevan Pugh.
They also bagged 63 cane toads around the village including 46 juveniles at the back of the shop. That is at least twice they have bred in the drain behind the village in the last month.

My group visited some new properties on Brooms Head Rd which was exciting. We think we can accurately map the line of the front as we found all males who were sitting in their new areas and calling the ladies in loudly.
Glenis and Max with some of the males caught from one dam on Brooms Head Rd.
We saw a Brown Tree Snake (well, Max saw it first as I was too busy gasbagging and nearly trod on it) but my photo was too fuzzy. He was a lovely size but the landowner was a bit freaked out.
Bucket of male toads from the frontline. No fun for you tonight boys!
All up we got only 84 cane toads but visited some new areas and gathered a wad of juveniles. Everyone gather your strength for the Family Cane Toad roundup at Brooms Head Friday 30th March. Cheers, Sharon.

Woombah Wildcats bagging record numbers of toads

The Woombah Wildcats volunteers are finding so many toads around Woombah that it is very concerning. In 2 nights they have collected close to 200 cane toads in the Woombah township alone. if there is anyone in the Woombah area that can help out, please email so I can put you in touch with the Woombah toad coordinator. We don't want to see cane toads in the Iluka World Heritage Rainforest so come on, help out please! Cheers, Sharon.

Yamba Roundup Results - 4/03/12

Well this was the first year Wetlandcare have undertaken the Annual Yamba Toad Muster and what a wonderful success it was. With Marty from Clarence Council, Nigel from CMA, Dell, Steve and Geoff from NPWS and no less than 7 CVCIA volunteers working alongside Wetlandcare, it was a real joint effort.

Glenis and Max help out in community education at the Yamba Toad Roundup.

Bevan, Rob and Sharon R took the bus to Yamba Sportsground to help out while Max and Glenis kept watch on the golf course and helped people out. Kath and I stayed back at the gold club and helped with the mammoth task of processing toads people brought back in.

The event attracted a total of 270 participants. The total number of Cane Toads collected on the night was 2,521. The most caught by any one group was 130, and the heaviest toad weighed 277g. I was so proud of the 7 CVCIA volunteers that attended to help run the event. I don't think the night would have been such a success without us so thank you all so much. The gas bottle was without a fitting and Max was able to find a mate there on the night who was a plumber and fixed it. Kath was so wonderful weighing and processing toads for hours and I had to drag Rob and Bevan away at the end of the night. You guys are awesome and I know Wetlandcare really appreciated your help. Cheers, Sharon.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Myna Trapping Tales - Part 2

And this from Moira...

Hi again 11/2/12
2 mynas yesterday and 2 this morning and transported them to the happy hunting ground. It is amazing how greedy 2 birds can be. Hope I can get all the ones that are coming to my place. Saw some finches eating the seeds that grow on a reedy looking thing, shall have to try and get some more growing. Be glad when the mynas allow other birds in the yard again.
Bye for now
Hi laura, 27/2/12
woe is me, not much luck this week. Have only caught 11. I had put the
cage in an area under a table and the silly buggers went in. No food at
entrances or anything. That makes 38 so far.

Great work Moira. Like how your "not much luck week" includes trapping 11 without any bait! We will have to call you Bevan II soon. Cheers, Sharon.

Myna Trapping Stories - Part 1

Our myna trappers are having a great time out there and overcoming obstacles like nothing else. John from Seelands writes:

I have trapped 25 birds in February with little noticeable impact on the local population.

It took me a long time to get going as the trap attracts inquisitive dairy cows and eventually I had to build a fence around the trap.

Thanks for looking after hte trap so well John! Those cows are curious. I remember putting in a row of trees along our road and they pulled every single tree bag off them! Cheers, Sharon.

Myna update from Cairns

This was forwarded to me by someone from the Birding-Aus e-list:

3,000 mynahs trapped in Cairns.

There has been a Rotary Club "Remove Indian Mynahs" project in Cairns for some weeks and thus far there has been 3,000 plus removed. Cairns Men's Shed has made up 225 traps to date and there is a good public acceptance of the fact that this introduced species is a real problem, hence the good results. Three members of the "Men's Shed" have captured 1500 birds between them. Broad estimate of numbers in the Cairns area has been put at 250,000.

Wow! Cheers, Sharon.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

24/02/12 - Warregah Island drain of doom

Well 8 toadbusters braved the storm just before 7:30pm to check out what was happening at Warregah Island. Unfortunately we collected a whopping 263 toads but there were 6 times that many mosquitoes on each of us at any one time.

Bevan, Sharon L and Sharon R tackled the drain of doom near Graeme's place with little action (mind the eels!) and poor Sharon R had a hole in her gumboot. Max and Glenis, David and Kaleb were back after last week so wonderufl to see some keen new toadbusters. Kaleb had about 10 toads in one hand at one point during the night.

No photos (the mosquitoes stole my camera) but thank you Rob and Bevan as usual and the rest of the crowd. I have 4 vols for next Sunday night (Rob, Bevan, max and Glenis) so please let me know if you can make it as well. Cheers, Sharon.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

New Common Myna Control Officer in Clarence Valley

I would like to congratulate Kevin Noble on his successful appointment as the new Myna Control Officer in Clarence Valley (pop… woo hoo…. fizz – that’s me popping the champagne and cheering!). And we all know he will be ably assisted by the divine Ms Laura Noble. Well done guys, you deserve it after all your hard work.

Congratulations to Pam again for securing this funding and Pam will be the Project Manager for this contract. Stay tuned for much excitement in myna world. I cannot express enough what a delight and joy it is to have so much support and friendship from so many of you. I am happily backing down from many of my start up jobs and please note the blank, dumb look that will come over my face when you ask me a myna question next – I will say “ask Kevin and Laura!!”.

Cheers, Sharon.

17/02/12 - Brooms Head Wildlife Night

With a rip-snorting 13 volunteers turning up for Brooms Head last Friday night, we only bagged 112 cane toads, but saw a heap of wildlife. All up we saw 1 Barn Owl, 1 Dingo, 1 Bandy bandy, 1 Water Rat, 1 Samll-eyed Snake and 2 White crowned Snakes. How cool is getting out in nature at night??

White crowned snake at Brooms Head
Not many toads, but the boys picked up a pile of 2-3 week old juvenilles that had obviously just hatched behind the shop and RFS station. Good catch guys! Next weekend Warregah and then the Yamba Roundup. Thank you to everyone that turned up - great effort! Cheers, Sharon.
Caleb has a maths lesson in counting cane toads.

3/02/12 - Mororo toad central

Six intrepid explorers set out for a night of big toad at Mororo. Bevan, Rob, Kath, Julio, Sharon and Bethany picked up 265 toads and met new CIA volunteer and owner Annie on Mororo Road. Sharon R sent a long a note from her mum excusing her from toading as the Lawrence ferry was out and she was not up for the swim. And you call yourself committed, Sharon?!

Processing our toads at Mororo

Bethany fell asleep all the way home (poor poppet) but the worst part of the trip was waking the next morning to find a horrible leech bite on the back of my legs. My husband and I stripped the bed but were unable to find the leech! He's out there somewhere....

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Saturday 7th January 2012 - Woombah Wildcats launch their toad season

Bob and I had our first Toad outing on Saturday 7th Jan 2012. There were four volunteers and we were out for two and half hours. Our catch was a total of 75 Toads. There has been an increase at Woombah Woods since last season.        

It was a good result for our first outing. We have also found 5 one year old females in our own backyard which we haven't had before.

Cheers for now, Bob and Marie.
Woombah toad doing pushups.
Two toads caught recently at Woombah.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Can you spot the threatened species?

Look what Bevan caught in his myna trap overnight!!

NSW Threatened Species, Spotted-tailed Quoll. Gorgeous to know they are still around hanging out on the edge of Grafton (not the first one I have seen in Grafton). Interesting that Bevan successfully trapped two foxes prowling around his yard not too long ago. Also interesting that these are one of the species that we are most concerned about with cane toad invasion. Thanks for sharing Bevan - a gorgeous creature! Sharon.