Cane toad traps are being set this week along the ‘western front’ between the Victoria River and Timber Creek as part of a joint Western Australian-Northern Territory initiative to stem the western spread of the ‘biological bombshells’.
Environment Minister Judy Edwards said traps also were being set at travel stops along the way in a bid to pick up cane toads that might be hitch-hiking on vehicles.
“The toads are about 200km east of the WA-NT border and the aim is to hold them in the Victoria River District,” Dr Edwards said.
“There also is a population at the Bradshaw Field Training Area, a military base 60km north of Victoria River, which is thought to be localized and may have been accidentally introduced on vehicles.
“Officials from the Department of Conservation and Land Management and the Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife Service are exploring a joint campaign with the Commonwealth to mop up the toads in the training area. Currently, the NT is following up this proposal with the Commonwealth and WA has offered to assist in any on-the-ground actions if necessary.”
The Minister said she was encouraged by the response of the Queensland banana industry to her calls for Queensland to tighten controls on fruit exports.
“Industry officials have agreed that they need to be more vigilant,” she said.
“WA already has begun talks with Queensland to extend the disease protocols for fruit and vegetable imports so that they cover cane toads. We cannot tolerate a situation where cane toads are getting a free ride across the continent.
“Cane toads are a declared animal in WA under the Agriculture and Related Resources Protection Act, which means they cannot be brought in or kept in the State and are subject to eradication in the wild.
“Unfortunately, they are the only non-native amphibian that is not declared as a pest in Queensland."
Dr Edwards said so far this year, one live and five dead cane toads had been found in WA. These included one in a woman’s luggage in Morley last January, four at Canning Vale in March and June and one at Kewdale this month.
This compared with five found in the preceding four years.
Minister's office: 9220 5050