The Cane toad (Rhinella marina) is considered one of the worst invasive pest animals in Australia and are listed as a key threatening process under the New South Wales Biodiversity Conservation Act. Cane toads are an extremely serious threat to native wildlife as they outcompete native animals for food and habitat and poison other animals who try to eat them. As a result constant vigilance and surveillance are required to keep the Sutherland Shire free of these pests. Cane Toads are listed as a Key Threatening Process.
Cane toads and the Sutherland Shire
In 2010 a cane toad outbreak occurred in Taren Point presenting an extreme risk to our local environment including environmentally significant wetlands in the Woolooware Bay and Towra Point areas. Thanks to the proactive approach of Sutherland Shire Councils Bushland Unit and the pest species officers at the time, an integrated cane toad control program was put in place that cooperated with National Parks & Wildlife Service, Local Land Services and private land owners. This control program saw approximately 500 cane toads removed in the first 2 years and as a result of the ongoing continuation of the program a cane toad hasn’t been sighted In the Sutherland Shire area since 2014, a great success!
Cane toad control program
Cane toads have not been sighted in the Sutherland Shire since 2014 although, due to interstate and inter area trade it’s always a possibility that they could be reintroduced into the area. Ongoing monitoring and constant vigilance is required to keep them out of Sutherland Shire.
Sutherland Shire Council continue to monitor priority areas for cane toad activity and frequently complete cane toad surveys and eDNA water monitoring which involves testing water bodies to see if they contain cane toad DNA and indicate whether or not they are present in the area.
What residents can do
- If you see a cane toad DO NOT KILL IT, wear protective gloves and eyewear and catch it and put it in a box with a small amount of water and plenty of air holes and contact the Invasive species unit immediately. If you are uncomfortable catching the toad take a photo and contact the invasive species unit immediately.
- If you are purchasing materials sourced interstate, especially from northern New South Wales and Queensland, be vigilant and check for cane toads, cane toads are commonly found hiding in landscaping and garden supplies.
Policies and documents
Pest Animal Species and Wildlife Protection Policy
Cane toad factsheet (PDF)