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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Written Submissions ERISS Kakadu Report 2002 Volume 2 Cane Toad Inquiry Report 47 A proposed representative re-sampling of the Stage 3 Wildlife Survey, which is hoped to be undertaken next Dry season could possibly provide one season of pre-cane toad data. Ongoing monitoring programs The only major ongoing fauna monitoring programs in Kakadu National Park are those associated with assessing potential environmental impact downstream of ERA Ranger Mine and the Jabiluka lease area. Monitoring programs are being conducted by ERISS and ERA/EWL Sciences (Energy Resources of Australia Ltd/Earth Water Life Sciences). Aquatic macroinvertebrates are monitored at sites in the Magela Creek system (since 1988) and a number of control sites elsewhere in the Park. Sites from other areas have also been monitored regularly in the past (i.e. upper South Alligator River and Baroalba, Nourlangie and Gulungul Creeks). Though these studies were not designed for detecting cane toad impacts, inferences would be enhanced if cane toad invasion/distribution was monitored. Billabongs sampled in the Magela and Nourlangie Creek systems may provide information on (potentially vulnerable) freshwater snails. Fish communities in the Magela, Nourlangie and upper East Alligator systems have been monitored annually since 1994, and data exist for fish migration patterns in Magela Creek from 1985 to 1996. 'Whole-ecosystem' monitoring by ERA/EWLS has also been conducted at sites in Swift, Magela and Nourlangie Creek systems. Zooplankton, macroinvertebrates, fish, frogs, reptiles, bushbirds, waterbirds and mammals were surveyed in 1994/95 and again in 2000/01. Other surveys or monitoring programs Other past programs may also con tribute to background information, including surveys of waterbirds on the Magela and Nourlangie floodplains. It has been proposed to re-survey the original Magela floodplain sites, in order to update/add to the existing information on birds. Information from the CSIRO Kapalga fire study from the late 1980s to the raid 1990s will provide a useful basis for detecting and assessing impacts once cane toads arrive there. Mammals, reptiles and insects were sampled originally and were re-sampled for small mammals in 1999. It will be very difficult to obtain adequate baseline data for a cane toad impact monitoring program. While the ongoing programs will be of some use, they are not necessarily targeted at the priority species identified in this report. Risk management and reduction Given the outcomes of the assessment, some relevant issues can be discussed that may assist Park managers in developing a risk management strategy. Parks Australia North has already been active with regards to management of cane toad issues, having initiated a cane toad identification training program and rapid response strategy to manage human assisted incursions of cane toads. Additionally, frog recording stations have been established at four sites in Kakadu (and more are planned). Baseline data have been collected for the past two Wet seasons.