Native frogs being confused with invasive toad species

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If you can’t spot the difference between these two species, you’re not alone.

“People are trying to do the right thing, they’re trying to help out and reduce the cane toad load, but instead they’re accidentally killing endangered species and killing some of our other lovely native species as well,” says Jacqui Forest, from the Coffs Harbour Frogarium.

Some visitors to Coffs Harbour Frogarium reveal they’ve been targeting native frogs, assuming they were cane toads.

The Giant Barred Frog is considered especially vulnerable to the mix up.

“There’s a lot of native frogs that are brown and are on the larger size, so that right there isn’t enough to identify a cane toad,” says Forest.

Staff at the Frogarium have been using a stuffed cane toad to try and educate people about their features.

Visitor Rachael Wood was shocked when she saw the frog and cane toad side-by-side.

“Must’ve been my face expression and she says; ‘You’ve seen one of these haven’t ya?’ And I went; ‘Yes’. She said; ‘What happened?’ I said; ‘We killed it’,” recalls Wood.

It happened a number of years ago, Wood is urging others not to make the same mistake.

It seems more and more people are worried about the spread of the cane toad population. 

Originating in Queensland, there have been sightings on the mid north coast of New South Wales, parts of the Hunter region, which is just to the north of Sydney, and even as far south as Batemans Bay, which is south of Sydney.

Those who come across a cane toad are urged to safely catch it and report it. 

“Whatever you do, do not kill the cane toad or the animal because it may not be a cane toad, it may actually be a native frog,” says Eva Twarkowski from Hunter Local Land Services.

A clear message to protect Australia’s native wildlife.

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