View Research: Barriers


50 cm wire fences with the top 10 cm hanging free and leaning to the outside have stopped toads getting into frog ponds in project done by townsville frog Society. ALso shade cloth can be used to stop toads climbing wire mesh fences. Toads can climb wire very easily but they cannot climb something like shade cloth. They need to get their fingers to grip through the material if they are going to climb it. They cannot climb smooth surfaces like glass or metal but can climb wire. We suggest having the cloth or plastic 600 mm high and it needs to be buried into the ground slightly. The easiest way is to clear an area along the fence line about 300mm wide and have the shade cloth in an L shape, 300mm on the ground and 600mm up the fence. Peg the strip on the ground and cover it with soil. This way, when a toad hits the fence if it tries to push under the barrier, it is already on top of the shade cloth or plastic.

Author: 22-Dec-2003
Last Updated: 05-Mar-2006
Category: Cane Toad » Toad proofing your yard


  • Core issues to consider with barriers relate to the differences between native frogs and cane toads.
    Typically these are the size difference, especially with adults and the toads inability to climb smooth surfaces or to jump very well.
    These factors need to be considered in relation to what you are trying to achieve with the barrier.
    Exclusion barriers around ponds need to stop breeding size adults and this can be achieved with mesh. Native frogs and other species can pass through the mesh.
    If large native species such as Cyclorana Australis are present other strategies may need to be developed as their adult size may overlap with that of breeding age cane toads > 65mm.
    Submitted by Graeme Sawyer on 30-Sep-2004
  • Cane Toads can climb some wire barriers and can climb in corners where a barrier meets a wall for example. In Townsville frog groups have used a wire flap on the top of the barrier, hanging to the outside of the enclosure to prevent this.
    Submitted by Graeme Sawyer on 30-Sep-2004
  • Barrier fencing has been discussed as a possible option in preventing cane toad movement but it has always been dismissed as too expensive or too difficult to maintain in the weather conditions in the tropics, especially because of the large rainfall events that cause significant water run off and stream rises. Deflection or drift fences have been used for many years to enhance the effectiveness of traps, especially pitfall traps, in fauna surveys and FrogWatch have been trialling the concept to use in the fight against cane toads. They have developed the concept of deflection barriers as a part of an integrated management approach to cane toad control. The segments of deflection fencing are designed to be fitted to existing fenceline infrastructure greatly reducing the cost. They are also designed to be used in conjunction with cane toad traps and with toadMustering (hand collection) to increase the effectiveness of these other control measures. Trials conducted at Noonamah near Darwin have shown that cane toads are unable to get over a barrier made from shade cloth and 600mm high and further that cane toads reaction to such a barrier is to track along the barrier. Trials have shown that the placement of traps along the barrier leads to increased captures of cane toads. This increase is approximately 4 to 5 times previous captures.
    Submitted by Graeme Sawyer on 02-Apr-2007