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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



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

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Tabled Paper 1123


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




Tabled by Delia Lawrie


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Written Submissions Dr Freeland Volume 2 Cane Toad Inquiry Report 165 ATTACHMENT 2 An excerpt from the minutes of the Cane Pests Board meeting held in Ingham Shire Hall, 5 May 1937 BUREAU OF SUGAR EXPERIMENT STATIONS 5 May 1937. Delegates will no doubt remember that during the last conference we were labouring under a ban, imposed by the Federal Government, which restricted the distribution of toads to the Cairns, Gordonvale, Innisvale and Tully districts. While this ban gave us the opportunity to stock up those districts in great detail, it affected rather harshly those districts where grub damage was not sufficiently widespread and serious to warrant the first toad liberations being carried out there, but where, nevertheless grubs were serious in localised areas. Growers in these areas subsequently found themselves in the position of desiring a liberation of toads, but that we were unable to make liberations in their areas by virtue of the existence of this ban. Accordingly we took this matter up further with the Health Department who are responsible for the administration of the Quarantine laws. After analysing the excreta of toads collated in this district under a variety of conditions, and dissecting a number of toads caught similarly, we presented to the Health Department the details of what they had eaten, with the result that the ban was finally lifted in September of last year. Since then toads gave been liberated in Mossman, Babinda, Ingham, Bambaroo, Giru, Ayr, Mackay, Bundabarg and Isis districts. It is pleasing to note that the first Australian-bred generation have commenced breeding, and toadlets are now plentiful in are4s where the toads were originally liberated. Egg strings can occasionally be found in the pools along the Little Mulgrava whilst the same pools harbour thousands of tadpoles. Breeding has been taking place there continuously since last December. Records of breeding have come from other places in the Mulgrave, Hambledon, and Innisfail districts, and toad populations in those places will soon take a sudden rise. We have, therefore, discontinued liberations in these districts ever since toads from the first liberations become mature, as any further liberations at this juncture would not add appreciably to the already existing populations there. We plan to continue extensive liberations in the central and southern districts for some time, so that having once established big population in those areas, there should be no need to make further liberations there next year. With regard to the usefulness of toads against Greyback beetle pest, it is much too early to judge their efficacy yet. Certainly they could have had very little or no influence on the beetle pest last year because during the lighting period the number of mature toads at large which be capable of eating a Greyback beetle would then be too stall. However, it is possible that during the coming year, in localised areas, we may gain some idea of their possible effects. I refer particularly to the Little Mul- ATTACHMENT 3 Changes in the population density and body condition of cane toad at the Dip Waterhole, Westmoreland Station, Queensland over eight years following colonisation in 1982.