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
Tabled Paper 1123
Tabled Papers for 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005; Tabled papers for 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT
Tabled by Delia Lawrie
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Parks & Wildlife Commission NT Written Submissions Cane Toad Inquiry Report Volume 2 32 because of cane toad toxicity. There is some dispute about whether there is recovery in populations of these predator species in the years following the initial abrupt impact (with that putative recovery due to strong genetic or behavioural selection). The most recent evidence (data collected in 2002 from Kakadu by the Biodiversity Unit of the Conservation and Natural Resources Group of the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Environment (see Appendix 1)) suggests that northern quolls may be especially affected. Observations from Queensland seem to indicate that quoll populations do not recover except in a small number of rocky sites. Thus there is a realistic possibility that this species may disappear from most of the mainland NT because of cane toads. Terrestrial invertebrates used as food by cane toads are also likely to decline in abundance. There is evidence that a tapeworm found in the intestines of a snake declines following cane toad invasion. The toads consume most of the intermediate stages of the parasite which consequently are not transmitted to the ultimate host, the snake. There is little further work on the effects on invertebrates but, because of the cane toads large appetite, some effects could be considerable. An assessment of impact of cane toads on the conservation status of Northern Territory vertebrates is shown below. Scientific name Common name Status prior to consideration of cane toad impacts Recommended new status Dasyurus hallucatus northern quoll Near Threatened Vulnerable Pseudantechinus bilarni sandstone antechinus Least Concern Data Deficient Sminthopsis bindi kakadu dunnart Least Concern Data Deficient Sminthopsis virginiae red-cheeked dunnart Least Concern Data Deficient Antechinus bellus fawn antechinus Near Threatened Data Deficient Planigale maculata common planigale Least Concern Data Deficient Planigale ingrami long-tailed planigale Least Concern Data Deficient Macroderma gigas ghost bat Near Threatened Data Deficient Cyclorana australis giant frog Least Concern Data Deficient Limnodynastes ornatus ornate burrowing frog Least Concern Data Deficient Varanus panoptes yellow-spotted monitor Least Concern Near Threatened V. mertensi Mertens water monitor Least Concern Data Deficient V. mitchelli Mitchells water monitor Least Concern Data Deficient V. primordius Northern blunt-spined monitor Near Threatened Data Deficient V. scalaris Spotted tree monitor Least Concern Data Deficient V. tristis Black-tailed monitor Least Concern Data Deficient V. glebopalma long-tailed rock monitor Least Concern Data Deficient V. glauertii Kimberley rock monitor Data Deficient Data Deficient