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Cane toads were released into the cane fields of Far North Queensland in 1935, supposedly to eat pest beetles, although it failed as a biological control agent it succeeded in becoming a major environmental pest. Its tolerance of a wide range of diets and conditions, plus its prolific breeding (a female cane toad may lay up to 40,000 eggs each season) has facilitated its relentless spread across Australia, including to Tamborine Mountain.

Many of our ground dwelling local native frogs are speckled brown so its worth a second look to check if the brown amphibian hopping around your garden is friend or feral.

Cane Toad up to 250 mm in length: brown, olive or mustard back with light belly, distinct eyelids, bony head, front feet unwebbed, back feet leathery webbing, warty leathery skin, enlarged poison glands. Juvenile toads distinguished from native frogs by orange spots on back, upright stance, active by day and often found in dense clusters. Call like small purring motor. Produces long strands of eggs. At all stages of life the toad is toxic.

Native brown ground-dwelling frogs found on Tamborine Mountain include:

Striped Marshfrog up to 75mm; back light brown with dark brown to black stripes. Eggs laid in white foamy mass. Call “toc”

Scarlet-sided Pobblebonk up to 80mm; back grey or brown with reddish orange stripe along sides, red patch on upper arms. Eggs laid in foamy mass. Call  “bonk”

Great Barred-frog up to 100mm; back dark grey or brown with dark markings; legs have thin black bars; dark eye. Single layer of large eggs on water surface. Call “waark”

Black-soled Frog up to 55mm; back fawn, brown sandpapery; dark stripe from nostril to ear disc; legs have dark barring. Thin film of eggs on water surface Call “grorrrrp”

Sandy Gungun up to 30mm; back brown to dark grey; warty skin; toes unwebbed. Single egg on submerged vegetation. Call “squelch”

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okoaraInjured Wildlife

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Elsewhere in Australia

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Why does attentiveness to nature matter? In a very fundamental sense, we are what we pay attention to. Paying heed to beauty, grace, and everyday miracles promotes a sense of possibility and coherence that runs deeper and truer than the often illusory commercial, social "realities" advanced by mainstream contemporary culture. ... Our attention is precious, and what we choose to focus it on has enormous consequences. What we choose to look at, and to listen to--these choices change the world. As Thich Nhat Hanh has pointed out, we become the bad television programs that we watch. A society that expends its energies tracking the latest doings of the celebrity couple is fundamentally distinct from one that watches for the first arriving spring migrant birds, or takes a weekend to check out insects in a mountain stream, or looks inside flowers to admire the marvelous ingenuities involved in pollination. The former tends to drag culture down to its lowest commonalities; the latter can lift us up in a sense of unity with all life. The Way of Natural History, edited by Thomas Lowe Fleischner and published by Trinity University Press (Texas)