Fears for biodiversity of Border Ranges World Heritage area as increased numbers are sighted
Fears for biodiversity of Border Ranges World Heritage area as increased numbers are sighted

Cane toads head for Kyogle

CANE toads are invading the Border Ranges World Heritage area north of Kyogle, sparking fears for the bio-diversity of the region.

Landowners are worried about the increased number of sightings this year, because the pests eat everything in sight and poison anything which eats them.

Richmond Landcare Services Community Support Officer Tara Patel confirmed new infestations of the toads had been discovered.

“We’re seeing them in the Lynchs Creek, Roseberry Creek and Wiangaree areas,” she said.

“There have also been a couple of toads found in town; they are getting closer and closer to the Kyogle township.

“If that happens, there will be problems for domestic pets and people in their backyards.

“And if we get toads in Kyogle they could spread even further to Casino.

“It’s definitely a concern in the community.

“People realise there is still anopportunity to do something before the problem really gets out of hand.

“It was always said that cane toads would never find their way to places like the Border Ranges, but that’s exactly what we’re seeing now.

“The first sighting of toads in this area was about two years ago, but this is the first year that people are seeing them regularly.”

Ms Patel said it was important to know the best way to manage cane toads.

“If you kill a cane toad in-humanely, such as with a cricket bat, they have the ability to spurt poison at you,” she said.

“And if you leave a dead toad on the road or in the grass where you killed it, a bird or some other animal might eat it and that would kill the other animal as well.”

The best option was to trap the toad, put it in a plastic bag with small holes and place in the freezer for two days.

Residents near Kyogle are also involved in a trial project that could help deter breeding.

“This involves the revegetation of dams, ponds, wetlands and other waterways,” Ms Patel said.

“Research is starting to show that the cane toads don’t like to climbover or push through vegetation.”

Cane toads were brought to Australia from Hawaii in 1935 to control beetles in sugarcane crops.

But the toads failed to control the cane beetles and instead became a major pest themselves.

To report sightings of cane toads, visit www.wildbynature.com.au and click on the ‘Toad Tracker’ link on the left-hand side of the page.



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