While Queenslanders have been banned from entering NSW over the past months, the same doesn't seem to apply to the much maligned and unloved cane toad.
An eagle eye Forster resident has put a stop to the feral visitor setting up home or making its way any further south after spotting and capturing a male cane toad in a suburban backyard.
The toad was concealed in grass on a property near One Mile Beach, a MidCoast Council spokesperson said.
"A big thanks to the observant community member from Forster who recently captured a male cane toad and contacted us for assistance."
Mindful of what this pest could do to the local fauna, the resident got in touch with council staff, who in turn consulted the Department of Primary Industries which formally identified the cane toad, sexed it out as a male base on the colouring under the animal's chine and arranged for it to be humanely euthanised.
RELATED: Border hoppers make their way south
Now, council is reaching out to residents asking them to be alert and take a look around the backyards to ensure this is a one-off intruder and not part of a population.
It is unclear how it made its way to Forster, but cane toads can occasionally hitchhike down the coast from northern NSW and Queensland.
Cane toads are a serious pest animal that - thankfully - have not yet established a breeding population in the Mid Coast-Hunter region.
Some native frogs can be mistaken as cane toads so it is important to use gloves and catch and keep the animal alive.
Local State government or council staff will arrange a suspected cane toad to be picked up alive so formal identification can be confirmed and details such as age and sex can be determined.
To report a suspected cane toad: visit the Department of Primary Industries biosecurity and food safety page HERE. or call 1800 680 244, council, 7955 7777.
Cane toads have been infrequently sighted in the Great Lakes area in recent years.
Cane toads are regarded as one of Australia's most damaging invasive species.
Poison in glands on the toad's neck and back is toxic to pets and most native predators.
They can live for up to 16 years and produce up to 35,000 eggs when breeding.
If handling a cane toad, rubber gloves should be worn to grip the toad firmly but gently, avoiding skin contact with its toxin.
If any toxin gets in your eyes, nose or mouth, medical attention should be sought.
If you think you have seen a cane toad:
- Don't harm it - it might actually be a native frog;
- Wear protective clothing such as disposable gloves, glasses, long sleeves and eye protection before touching it;
- Watch out for poison. When stressed, cane toads can ooze and sometimes squirt poison from glands behind the head, and
- If you can do so safely, catch the animal and keep it in a well-ventilated container with a little water in a cool location until it can be collected by agency staff
Where to look:
- Around sprinklers, taps, ponds, air conditioners, drains, dams, riverbanks ,cleared areas, golf courses;
- On roads, footpaths and walking tracks;
- In areas that are lit at night with insect activity and shelter sites e.g. pipes, crevices between rocks, under piles of wood, leaf litter or in garden pots, and
- Close to the ground (toads don't climb higher than 50 cm).
Did you know? Great Lakes Advocate online subscribersnot only have 24/7 access to local and national news, sport, what's on and entertainment - they also have access to our print editions in digital format, with all the advertisements and classifieds at their fingertips.