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A CANE toad was found in the Kosciuszko National Park earlier this month.The dead cane toad was found by staff in Charlotte’s Pass, near one of the most popular viewing platforms of Mt. Kosciuszko and the Main Range, says National Parks and Wildlife Service environmental liaison officer Dave Woods .
“The cane toad was found by the side of the road, intact but had obviously been dead for a few days,” he says.
“It’s not known whether the cane toad died in transit or had escaped from a vehicle before dying in the area, but the presence of this noxious and poisonous pest is still a cause for concern to NPWS staff.
“Aside from the odd sighting, cane toads are not often found in Southern NSW, particularly not in alpine environments.
“It’s highly unlikely the cane toad would survive in this cool climate and its most likely a ‘hitchhiker’ from up north, but the sighting highlights one of the major concerns for conservation managers which is the spread of exotic animals, plants and diseases.”
Cane toads have the potential to introduce a range of diseases such as Chytrid fungus that may infect native frog species.
“Nowadays it’s very easy for tourists to be camping in tropical Queensland one day, and a few days later be pitching a tent amongst Australia’s highest mountains.” Woods says.
“Plant seeds can hook to socks, soil pathogens can be transported in mud attached to cars or shoes and cane toads can be unwanted back-seat passengers!
“NPWS reminds visitors to check their vehicles for unwanted pest species and to remove grass and seeds from camping equipment before travelling to the park from other areas.