Brisbane Local Food

Growing local


Professor Rob Capon and his team have discovered a way to turn the cane toads’ own toxin against them, which has real potential to eradicate this long-term pest.

Historically, the solutions for cane toad control have been somewhat inefficient, largely physical – picking them up, building barriers, or taking decisively violent action – labour-intensive attempts that have failed to deliver enduring solutions.

"The ecology of the toad is that tadpoles from one clutch seek out and eat the eggs from later lays,” Professor Capon says.

“Tadpoles could do this for several reasons: to reduce genetic competition so as to wipe out all other gene pools, or simply as a food source, but of course it’s difficult to ask them about their motives.”

Professor Capon and his team extracted the pheromone from adult toads and developed a system to lure tadpoles into traps.

The chemical scent trail leaks from the box into the surrounding water, where the tadpoles detect it and follow it back into the trap.

“Once they are in the box, they find it too hard to swim out again and remain trapped inside." 

How you can help

Are you an individual member of the public?

Become a member of the CTC community so we can keep you updated on our cane toad control research and outreach program.

Register as an IMB Cane Toad Challenge member

Are you part of a not-for-profit organisation, or a business or government agency? 

We're looking for relevant non-profit organisations, businesses and government agencies to help spread the word about the CTC and advise us on how cane toads affect your organisation. Apply today to become a CTC Affiliate.

Apply to become an IMB Cane Toad Challenge affiliate

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Sounds useful! I had seen something on TV about using their own toxin against them but that report did not say that they ate their siblings. I wonder if BLF could be a relevant non-profit? There'd be plenty of us with cane toads hopping about!

Sounds good to me, as gardeners and with plants needing water, we still find cane toads in our yard. It is a nightly job before the dogs go to bed at night.  The backyard flood lights go on and we go toad hunting with a plastic bag.  Where do they come from? We would have to enclose our backyard with a tin fence to stop them coming in from neighbours. Fortunately we have trained the dogs to leave them alone and instead they hunt grasshoppers which they can eat. 

Maybe as a whole, BLF could be involved with that group. 

Christa I have heard that Grasshoppers can carry a parasite which transfers to cats. Not sure about dogs. That's why 'they' say for cats not to eat Grasshoppers.

I thought I read somewhere that humans can eat grasshoppers. They get wormed and protected against many things, I think I will take my chances with grasshoppers. They tend to catch and kill most fast travelling things.  You should see them trying to high jump for moths and butterflies.

On another subject, our tanks are dry again, and it looks like we might ring your tank man.

Anthony? Phone: 0431 231 203; email:

Despite having a close fitting panel fence they still managed to get into my old yard Christa. Lord knows how.

When/if you sign up for the site you get the opportunity of adding which community group you belong to = BLF.

I did sign up but didn't put any community groups since BLF afaik isn't a member. 

Perhaps you missed this bit:

If you are a member of an interested community group, please specify your group (box to type in group name).

No I did not miss it. It was not clear to me that they wanted to know regardless of whether the group itself was a member. What is the point of saying 'BLF' when the people running the website have never heard of it?

However screwball, that was my reasoning. Doesn't look as though there is a way to edit the information.

If they see the name Brisbane Local Food crop up with enough individual applications it could pique their interest.

What's the harm in adding it. Benefit only.

Why can they not genetically modify  cane toads to stop breeding or remove toxin then they would just be food.

First you'd need to modify enough to change the genetics of so many widespread populations. A major task. As indeed is getting these traps set in enough waterways to make a difference.

Either solution will be useful long-term and more elegant and probably useful than just trying to kill as many as possible. Hasn't worked well so far.


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