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Toad News

25 September 2008

Northern Territory News, ALYSSA BETTS
September 25, 2008
Original story

Winton joins 'toad muster' to help the Territory

THE pen is mightier than the sword - but acclaimed Australian author Tim Winton has dropped both in favour of a sack to help save the Territory.

Winton is sleeping rough under the stars at Auvergne Station, west of Timber Creek, to join a yearly hunt for cane toads.

"Where we're working, there's so many toads that actually manually picking them up is the most time effective," he said.

The Stop the Toad Foundation patron has joined about 70 other volunteers for the 2008 Great Toad Muster, and he has his CO2 tank and toad sack at the ready.

But the world-renowned author - of books such as Cloudstreet and Dirt Music - admits to occasionally hankering after more traditional weaponery.

"I have been tempted to use a cricket bat," Winton said.

ON A MISSION: Author Tim Winton
ON A MISSION: Author Tim Winton

PEST: The toad invader
PEST: The toad invader

"But if you're out in 30 degrees working at night on the black soil plains - apart from the inhumanity of it - it's not an efficient use of energy.

Luckily volunteers have hit upon a low-tech but effective method of toad collection - temporary barriers around water holes.

Sunday night was the first night they used them, and they scored a haul of 3000 cane toads.

The Great Toad Muster runs from September 20 to October 18.


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