Rogue cane toads have arrived in Canberra

Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images A file photo
  • Two cane toads found in a Canberra suburb.
  • They are believed to be hitchhikers.
  • A search is underway to see if other toads have made it this far south.

Cane toads, those poisonous amphibians threatening many native Australian species, have been found on a street in Canberra.

Local authorities say the two discovered in the suburb of Campbell likely hitched to the national capital on a vehicle rather than hopped from northern Australia.

A search is underway to see if other toads have made it this far south.

“A local resident found the cane toads and reported them to us,” says Daniel Iglesias, Director, ACT Parks and Conservation.

“It is highly unlikely a cane toad population would establish this far south due to Canberra’s cold winter climate, but they could survive in our warmer months.

“They pose a threat to native and domestic animals so we are treating it seriously and working with the community to find any other cane toads, if there are any.

“People travelling from Queensland, Northern Territory and northern NSW should be particularly vigilant that they are not giving a cane toad a lift in their car, trailer or plant material.”

Cane toads have spread widely since being introduced in Queensland for control of the cane beetle in 1935.

Millions of toads now occupy more than 1.2 million square kilometres. It fatally poisons native species such the northern quoll, freshwater crocodiles, and several species of native lizards and snakes.

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