Pair of cane toads discovered in Glen Innes

With a bit of rain around and humidity, its the perfect conditions for Queensland's most infamous invasive pest. Photo: Cathy Zwick
With a bit of rain around and humidity, its the perfect conditions for Queensland's most infamous invasive pest. Photo: Cathy Zwick

Queensland's most infamous pest species has been discovered in Glen Innes and Local Land Services has appealed to the community for help repel the invaders.

A pair of cane toads discovered in Glen Innes recently could be the vanguard of a bigger force, according to LLS - and they're warning conditions are perfect for breeding even more

Pest animals team leader Mark Tarrant from the Northern Tablelands LLS called on Glen Innes to be on the lookout.

"With a bit of rain around and humidity, it's unfortunately the perfect conditions for toads," he said.

"We don't want them to make themselves at home here and we're asking travellers to please ensure they are not bringing toads unwittingly into our area, stowed away in their trucks, cars or caravans.

"It is very important to be vigilant."

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Both cane toads are reported to have hitched a ride from the sunshine state in a stock truck. National Parks and Wildlife range Peter Croft identified one of the toads.

The introduced Quensland pest could have a devastating impact on local biodiversity if allowed to establish, said LLS.

They asked residents to report sightings and gave some advice to residents willing to go looking.

The best time to look for toads is on warm rainy nights, but can also look in spots they may be sheltering during the day or cool weather.

Cane Toads prefer open, disturbed habitats close to water like. around sprinklers, taps, ponds, air conditioners, drains, dams, riverbanks, cleared areas, and golf courses.

You also often run into them on roads, footpaths and walking tracks.

Streetlights often attract their prey at night, which means you can often find them in well-lit locations.

LLS is advising not to immediately harm cane toads, because they're easily mistaken for the native Eastern Banjo Frog or Pobblebonk.

They are also often found in drainpipes, crevices between rocks, hollows under trees, leaf litter or dense vegetation on the ground.

They will always be close to the ground because toads don't climb or jump higher than 50 cm.

If you think you have spotted a toad, LLS recommends taking these steps:

  • Photograph the animal and report it to NSW DPI
  • Always wear protective gloves and eyewear when handling potential cane toads. They extrude (and sometimes squirt) poison from glands positioned behind the head.
  • The animal should be collected and held in a closed, well-ventilated, non-toxic container, with some water.

Cane toads were introduced north of the Tweed by a Queensland government in 1935 creating one of Australia's worst ever feral species infestations. There are now about two hundred million toads around Australia.

Most methods of control have failed, and the toads continue to advance southwards dozens of kilometres a year.