Bat­tle on to stop spread of toads

The Weekend Post - - News - DANIEL BATE­MAN

NEW ways to man­age cane toad pop­u­la­tions are to be tri­alled in the Tor­res Straits af­ter the toxic am­phib­ians spread fur­ther across re­mote re­gion’s is­lands.

Cane toads have be­come well-es­tab­lished on Thurs­day and Horn is­lands, but in re­cent months there have been sight­ings of the in­va­sive species on Prince of Wales and Badu is­lands and un­con­firmed re­ports of the toxic an­i­mals on Warraber Is­land.

The Tor­res Strait Re­gional Au­thor­ity has asked James Cook Univer­sity re­searchers to come up with strate­gies, in­clud­ing a pro­to­type trap, to pre­vent toads from spread­ing.

The work is be­ing funded through the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment. TSRA chair­man Pe­dro Stephen said the au­thor­ity was work­ing with the sci­en­tists to de­velop sen­si­tive DNA de­tec­tion tech­niques that would al­low them to detect a range of in­va­sive species, in­clud­ing cane toads, sim­ply by sam­pling wa­ter­ways.

They were also work­ing with Sea Swift and Ports North to pre­vent toads from be­ing moved around via ship­ping.

“We urge the com­mu­nity to check their ship­ments for cane toads, when trav­el­ling between the is­lands, es­pe­cially if they have come from lo­ca­tions where cane toads are present, such as Cairns, Thurs­day Is­land and Horn Is­land,” he said.

“It is im­per­a­tive that the cane toads do not mi­grate from Thurs­day Is­land and Horn Is­land to the outer is­lands.”

IN­VADERS: Cane toad col­lec­tion in Tor­res Strait. Pic­ture: TSRA

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