Acoustic attractants enhance trapping success for cane toads

Cane toads are an introduced pest in many tropical locations around the world, but, surprisingly, there are few methods available for their control. Highly effective trapping may provide a means of controlling toads, either alone or as part of an integrated pest-management scheme. Existing cane toad trap designs use lights to lure insects to traps, and toads enter the traps to feed. Using a large, outdoor experimental arena and playback of cane toad mating calls, we examined the possibility that cane toads, like many other anurans, are attracted to conspecific mating vocalisations. We found that both male and female toads were attracted to quiet (47dB(A) at 1 m) playbacks, whereas only males responded to loud (67dB(A) at 1 m) playbacks with phonotaxis. We also tested whether playbacks broadcast from traps would be useful attractants to traps in the field. We captured three times more toads in traps with playbacks than in traps without playbacks, suggesting that playbacks can be used to enhance trapping success for toads.

Author L. Schwarzkopf and R. A. Alford
Date 06/09/2007
Year 2007
Secondary title Wildlife Research
Volume 34
Number 5
Institution James Cook University
Department School of Marine and Tropical Biology
Pages 366?370
Notes Notes
Control method Trapping