Cane Toads are a pest.
A permanent resident of Queensland these amphibious monsters are spreading like wildfire.
The cane toad has spread rapidly across the North and are slowly making their way over the Western and Southern part of Australia.
And now they’ve reached NSW. Sort of.
A tourist has been accused of accidentally trafficking the animal into Kosciusko National Park, southern New South Wales rangers say.
The toad was found dead near a popular viewing platform in the park. David Woods from the NSW National Parks and Wildlife says that it serves as a reminder for people visiting the area to be aware of accidental trafficking.
Image: Cane Toad, Simple Wikipedia
"We don't think it was a joke … but a wayward passenger, from a vehicle that's travelled from either northern NSW or Qld It [the toad] either died in transit or it's fallen out and survived for a few days. We strongly suspect given the [area] has high visitation, that it was a tourist that brought it in. Mr Woods said the animal was found by a ranger and looked like it had been dead for a couple of days. We were surprised!" he said.
What is more worrying is the Chytrid Fungus that the toad carries. The particularly contagious fungus has the capability to wipe out whole frog species. One such species the Corroboree frog with its beautifully marbled black and yellow skin has already been listed as endangered. With as few as 50 left in the wild. Taronga Zoo recently intervening, are working with conservationists to save the species.
It is important for tourists to understand the potential and devastating effects animal trafficking has on the Australian ecosystem. Woods explains:
"NPWS reminds visitors to check their vehicles for unwanted pest species … before travelling to the park from other areas.”
So frog off, toad.
Header: Wikimedia Commons