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Toad Media

MEDIA RELEASE

12 October 2009

RAMSAR Wetland Threat from Cane Toads

Over 1000 cane toads have been removed from the eastern shores of the RAMSAR Treaty listed Lake Argyle in Western Australia’s far north by the Stop the Toad Foundation in recent weeks.

Lake Argyle provides extensive wetland habitats for a number of threatened migratory bird species and is home to an estimated 25000 freshwater crocodiles. Freshwater crocodiles have no resistance to toad toxins and large numbers have been recorded dying when coming into contact with Cane Toads. The RAMSAR Wetlands Treaty which Australia signed in 1971 commits all signatories to protecting areas of international biodiversity significance and reducing impacts caused as a result of manmade activities(such as the introduction of toads).

‘It is likely that cane toads will directly compete for food resources in the form of aquatic invertebrates, said Kim Hands from STTF. Insects make up a significant component of crocodile food and every toad we have removed and dissected has shown that there will be major competition between crocodiles and toads.”

In 1971 over 100 countries met in the city of Ramsar in Iran and made commitments to protect habitats around the world and identified areas that have major wetlands and associated ecologies with the aim of creating a network of linked protected areas that provide refuge for the wildlife that exists at each and the migratory species from other countries that use these wetlands.

During the Great Toad Muster over 23000 volunteer hours have resulted in more than 42 000 cane toads being removed from an invasion frontline stretching over 120 km along the WA/NT Border.

“Cane toads will impact on WA following this coming wet season so it is imperative that all groups involved in the battle work closely together to maintain the pressure and remove them in big numbers, said Ms Hands. If we are forced to reduce our efforts due to a lack of real resourcing then cane toads will reach Perth in the next few years”, she said.


For comment: Kim Hands 0400 130 397

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Perth Vetinary Specialists

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