Toadbusting participant Peter Collins shows off his style which earned him the honour of champion toad catcher after capturing 408 in one night.
Toadbusting participant Peter Collins shows off his style which earned him the honour of champion toad catcher after capturing 408 in one night. Chrissy Harris

New toadbusting record reached

THE local toad population has been blitzed with a stellar final Toadbusting session snaring 1587 of the warty creatures.

A new benchmark has been set in the program’s record books with Tuesday night’s performance eclipsing the former mark of 1114 toads caught in one session, registered in February 2008.

With 24 volunteers responsible for catching the record haul of toads at the Reg Tanna Park in one hour, it was the quick hands of Peter Collins that ultimately made the difference.

A participant in Conservation Volunteer’s National Green Jobs Corps, Mr Collins set the second record for the night by catching 408 toads by himself.

Accompanied by his wife Alma, Mr Collins earned the honour of the most toads caught individually champion.

Conservation Volunteers volunteer engagement officer Pamela MacDonald said it was Mr Collins’ staggering effort that pushed the numbers over the night up.

“We absolutely blitzed them ... it was just incredible,” Ms MacDonald said.

“Two of our teenage girls from Tannum Sands, Caitlin and Lauren Pugh, caught 193 between them.

“We have been to Reg Tanna three times this season and this is by far the greatest number of toads caught at this site.

“I don’t know if our people are getting cleverer or the toads are getting thicker.”

Overall, this season’s Toadbusting netted 7512 toads captured by 188 volunteers.

This tally is the third highest number of toads caught, coincidentally by the third-least number of volunteers, since the inception of the program in 2002.

This year Toadbusting took place at Reg Tanna and Beaumont parks in Gladstone, Hazelbrook at Calliope, Colyer Park in Boyne Island and Canoe Point at Tannum Sands.