Locals urged to be on alert after cane toads spotted in Penrith

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The New South Wales Government is calling on the community to keep an eye out and report sightings of some unwanted visitors in the area.

Penrith is one of at least 10 locations across Greater Sydney that has had several cane toads confirmed over the last year.

With a recent increase in sightings, Greater Sydney Local Land Services (LLS) and NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) are now investigating multiple reports of cane toads crossing the NSW border from Queensland.

Matt Greanlees on the case after a cane toad sighting.

Greater Sydney LLS Biosecurity Manager, Graham Wilson said the poisonous pest can cause serious issues.

“Cane toads pose a serious biosecurity threat to NSW and indeed Australia. Despite some close calls over the years we have been so far successful in keeping them from establishing in Sydney,” he said.

“We are seeing a big increase in these sightings though with most cases related to the arrival of plant shipments in trucks from Queensland.”

The large, warty amphibians can poison pets and injure humans with their toxins, as well as poison many native animals whose diet includes frogs, tadpoles and frogs’ eggs.

Cane toads can prey on small native animals, create problems for beekeepers by overconsuming honeybees and possibly transmit diseases to native frogs and fishes.

Mr Wilson urged locals to report any suspected cane toad cases in the Penrith area to authorities.

“All members of the public can help keep their local area safe by reporting any sightings to NSW DPI through its exotic pest helpline,” he said.

“They can call 1800 680 244, complete an online form, or email a photo of the face and details to [email protected].”

Anyone coming from cane toad infested areas such as Queensland or the Northern Territory are also being asked to check their luggage, vehicle, or trailer to ensure they are not bringing a cane toad into the state.

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