Acoustic attractants enhance trapping success for cane toads
L. Schwarzkopf (A,B) and R. A. Alford (A)
Wildlife Research 34(5):366-370
(A) School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University,
Townsville, Qld 4811, Australia.
(B) Corresponding author. Email:
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.
Submitted: 18 December 2006 Accepted: 13 July 2007 Published: 6
Full text DOI: 10.1071/WR06173