Wildlife risk hopping in

☐ Three cane toads have been spotted near Sydney Olympic Park.

IT’S home to over 250 species of fauna and you would think one more might not matter but Sydney Olympic Park rangers are on the lookout for a newcomer that could threaten the habitat of many.

Getting a little too close for comfort, there have been recent sightings of the introduced Cane Toad including one within 5km of Sydney Olympic Park.
In March, a Cane Toad was caught during a frog survey at Rosehill. In May, another was caught in Ermington.
If the toad obtained a stronghold at the Park, the impacts of invaders may be difficult to predict and manage, particularly for the endangered Green and Golden Bell Frog.
Cane Toads were introduced to Australia in 1935 in areas around Cairns, Gordonvale and Innisfail in northern Queensland as a means of controlling the native grey-backed cane beetle that was affecting crops of the Queensland sugar cane industry.
This invasive pest has now expanded its range southwards to include Port Macquarie on the east coast and westwards into Western Australia. Unfortunately, individuals are often accidentally carried further on materials being shipped by road and rail further south.
When provoked, adult Cane Toads can produce a toxin from the large glands on their shoulders. The toxin, once absorbed through body tissues such as those of the eyes, mouth and nose, will attack the predator’s central nervous system.
They can eat a wide variety of foods, depleting food sources of many native amphibians and reptiles, and are also prolific breeders. Females may lay two clutches of 8,000 to 35,000 eggs a year.
If you think you’ve spotted a Cane Toad, do not harm it as it could turn out to be a harmless native frog, photograph the animal and report it to NSW DPI by emailing or call Sydney Olympic Park rangers on 0408 864 798.