‘HITCHHIKER’ CANE TOAD FOUND IN DERBY
Department of Parks and Wildlife WA is asking travellers to keep an eye out for ‘hitchhikers’ in their camping rig, after a live cane toad was found at tourist accommodation in Derby, WA.
Parks and Wildlife cane toad program coordinator Corrin Everitt said the toad had been spotted on August 21 before it was identified at the department’s West Kimberley district office in Broome, where it was euthanised shortly thereafter.
Ms Everitt suspects that travellers had accidentally brought the toad to Derby in their luggage from Kununurra.
“We’re asking all travellers to be vigilant before leaving areas where cane toads are present, such as Kununurra, to carefully check their luggage, in particular swags and bags that can sit on the ground,” she said..
“Cane toads can hide in very small spaces so it’s important to check your load. Inspect vehicles, luggage, pallets, camping gear and caravans before you leave.”
Environmental scientist and Camper Trailer Australia contributor Scott Heiman echoed Ms Everitt’s concerns and said the rapid advance of cane toads westwards into new areas is a “real and present danger” to Australia’s endemic wildlife.
“Native species that are not accustomed to their poisonous nature will die,” Heiman said.
“All travellers should be vigilant to pest species in the areas they are travelling through be they plant or animal,” he said.
If a suspected toad is found by a member of the public, Parks and Wildlife recommends not killing it in case it is a harmless native frog.
The animal should be isolated in a container and immediately reported to Parks and
Wildlife, with a photo to (0400) 693 807 or email@example.com