This week I have been at Moreton Island, Queensland with two of my conservation detection dogs Tommy and Emma. It’s school holidays here and Tangalooma Resort and the island is filled with holiday makers.
Our target scent is cane toads.
Cane toads became pests after being introduced into Australia to control destructive beetles in Queensland’s sugarcane crops. They are capable of poisoning predators that try to eat them and they continue to spread across Australia.
Average-sized adults are 10-15 cm long. The largest female measured in Queensland was 24 cm long and weighed 1.3 kg!
Cane toads can easily hitch a ride on vehicles that go to the island on the barge. Unknowing to the drivers, the cane toads could have been sleeping in their camping gear before so when they pack the car ready for a fun weekend of camping, the cane toads go too!
Tommy and Emmy are trained to detect cane toads but most importantly they are trained to detect but not touch. The cane toad has poison glands, and the tadpoles are highly toxic to most animals if ingested.
In a beautiful location like Moreton Island we are rewarded at the end of our working day with a swim in the beautiful waters of Moreton Bay. Enjoy the photos!