They're here: cane toads hit Bellingen

THE march of the cane toad gained momentum this week when two were found alive and well and living in Bellingen.

The pair were discovered in Hobson Close, North Bellingen, with National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) officials believing this to be an extremely serious situation.

Toads are usually not found south of the Clarence Valley, although there is an isolated population near Port Macquarie.

NPWS Senior Ranger Tim Scanlon said cane toads do not naturally occur in Bellingen.

“No breeding populations of the species have been known to occur here,” Mr Scanlon said. “The fact that more than one cane toad has been found at the one location either indicates multiple hitch hikers or a breeding population in the area.”

As cane toads can be accidentally spread in mulch, soil, pot plants, building material or through hitching a ride under caravans, individuals are sometimes found in the Bellingen-Coffs Harbour area.

“Cane toads pose a major threat to both native animals and domestic pets so it is important that cane toads are not allowed to establish in the Bellingen area,” add Mr Scanlon.

Local residents are asked to keep a look out for cane toads and if a suspected cane toad is found, notify the NPWS on 6652 0900.



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