The most important question to answer this season is “are we making a difference”? I will be spending a good deal of time trying to work out how we can answer that one. There are some that believe community efforts at hand collecting toads are ineffective. Not only does this affect the ability of organisations such as the CIA to attract support funding, but it can also dishearten the community to get involved if they think it is a waste of time.
My thoughts? I have seen the mighty efforts of Matthew Clarke, Russell Jago, Jeff Thomas and others make a big difference at Brooms Head and Angourie. I believe that these efforts are most effective when at the front of the cane toad spread, as we are in the Clarence Valley. Perhaps we may be beaten but as I have said many times, I’m prepared to give it a good go for 3 years and then reassess the situation. I do not think we will ever get rid of every rabbit, fox or lantana plant either, but does this mean we should not perform any form of control on these invasive species? Imagine that!
So, the scientist in me will continue to dissect, record, analyse and assess our operations.
This season, we will also be looking at:
- monitoring sites and our impact at these sites
- catch effort over time in each area
- habitat modification trials
The question “are we making a difference?” is getting more important on a broad scale level, so we will continue to analyse our effectiveness.