Territory Stories

Sessional Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development Written Submissions Received Volume 2 Issues associated with the progressive entry into the Northern Territory of Cane Toads October 2003

Details:

Title

Sessional Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development Written Submissions Received Volume 2 Issues associated with the progressive entry into the Northern Territory of Cane Toads October 2003

Other title

Tabled Paper 1123

Collection

Tabled Papers for 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005; Tabled papers for 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT

Date

2003-10-16

Description

Tabled by Delia Lawrie

Notes

Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.

Language

English

Subject

Tabled papers

File type

application/pdf

Use

Copyright

Copyright owner

See publication

License

https://www.legislation.gov.au/Series/C1968A00063

Parent handle

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/307061

Citation address

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/346011

Page content

Written Submissions Dr Brown Volume 2 Cane Toad Inquiry Report 145 SUBMISSION NO. 21 Dr Greg Brown, University of Sydney, School of Biological Sciences PO Box 441 HUMPTY DOO NT 0836 Executive Officer Sessional Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development re: Cane Toad Inquiry Public Hearing Dear Sir Belatedly here is a written copy of my submission to the cane toad committee. Greg Brown SUBMISSION TO THE INQUIRY INTO ISSUES ASSOCIATED WITH THE PROGRESSIVE ENTRY INTO THE NORTHERN TERRITORY OF CANE TOADS The research group that I am associated with, headed by Professor Rick Shine, has been awarded a 5-year grant by the Australian Research Council to study the effect of cane toads on reptile populations in the Top End. Our goal is not to find a means of controlling toads but rather to document the ecological effects that toads have on native animals. Over several decades, cane toads have spread hundreds of kilometres across Australia yet biologists have little idea of what effect they have on native animal populations. Anecdotal reports abound, though, and these suggest that snakes and lizards become noticeably rare or even disappear after the arrival of toads. We hope to carefully document what happens to reptile populations following the cane toad invasion into the Top End and detail, for the first time, the ecological impact of a novel toxic prey item on its predators. As the toads continue to expand other localities may then have a better idea of what they can expect. We received Commonwealth funding for this study because we have been conducting long-term mark recapture studies on various reptile populations (water python, death adder, keelback snake, slatey-grey snake, Macleays water snake, file snake and snakenecked turtle), mainly around Fogg Dam, for the last 5 to 10 years. These studies have provided detailed information on the sizes of the populations, their age structures, reproductive rates, growth rates etc. Because the studies have been going on for such a long period we also have an understanding of how population parameters vary seasonally and from year to year. Thus, we have a good deal of 'background' information to which we can compare any changes observed after the arrival of toads. At present, there are 10's of thousands of individually marked snakes on the Adelaide River floodplain. Many of these snakes were first marked as babies and have been recaptured and released repeatedly over the years. We have followed their movements, growth rates and reproduction over most of their lives. For some individuals we can trace though three generations of their family and identify their parents and siblings. And now we are waiting to see what will happen to them when they encounter a novel and deadly toxic prey item.


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