Dreaded Cane Toad in Hawks Nest.

CANE TOAD FOUND: Coorilla Street, Hawks Nest.
CANE TOAD FOUND: Coorilla Street, Hawks Nest.

 

MYALL residents normally welcome visitors but not when they are ugly hitchhikers heading south from Queensland.

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Last week, local Jill Madden discovered a cane toad near Jimmys Beach Caravan Park in Hawks Nest.

“It was on the side of the road in Coorilla Street,” Jill said.

“It was squashed and very dead, I didn’t move it.”

Jill notified the local National Parks and Wildlife Service, which in turn prompted MidCoast Council to issue an alert.

Mat Bell, Senior Ecologist with MidCoast said, “Cane toads are ugly, unwanted and a serious threat to the natural environment.”

“We are asking that all local residents and visitors be vigilant, particularly in the vicinity of the area of the sighting, to ensure that there is not a local population of this species.”

Cane toads were introduced to the sugar cane fields of Queensland more than 80 years ago to control cane beetles.

The decision was a disaster and they’re now regarded as one of Australia’s most damaging and invasive species.

They can now be found throughout coastal and northern Queensland, northern New South Wales and increasingly through the Northern Territory and north Western Australia.

Poison in their glands is toxic to pets and most native predators.

Cane toads can live up to 16 years and produce up to 35,000 eggs.

If any resident or visitor suspects that they have found a cane toad, they are asked to capture the animal alive, take photos and contact MidCoast Council, the NSW Department of Primary Industries or NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Caution needs to be taken when handling cane toads.

Rubber gloves should be worn to grip the toad firmly but gently avoiding any skin contact with its toxin.

If contact is made then seek medical attention.

For further information contact Mat Bell on 6591 7243.

 

By  Margie TIERNEY

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