Adolphus Island creatures surviving cane toads

Endangered northern quolls and a range of reptile species are surviving on Adolphus Island, in the mouth of the Cambridge Gulf near Wyndham, despite the presence of toxic cane toads.

Adolphus Island - Argus Monitor
Yellow-spotted monitor. Photo by Greg Hume (CC BY 2.0)

Environment Minister Albert Jacob said 35 remote cameras – installed by the Department of Parks and Wildlife on Adolphus island – had captured images of quolls, monitors (goannas) and pythons in recent months.

“Evidence of native species persisting on Adolphus Island is good news,” Mr Jacob said.

“Key species susceptible to cane toad poison – such as yellow-spotted monitors, northern blue tongues, twilight monitors, spiky-tailed monitors and northern quolls – are surviving, although we know toads have been present on the island for about four years.

“Researchers are not sure yet why these native species are able to overcome the effects of cane toad colonisation, but it is a really positive sign considering there have been devastating impacts on wildlife in other parts of Australia.

“It’s a good news story for Adolphus and provides important information which will help the Liberal National Government in future Kimberley island management.”

The Minister said the department, in conjunction with the Balanggarra rangers and traditional owners, would continue monitoring northern quoll and cane toad populations on Adolphus island as part of the Kimberley Science and Conservation Strategy.

The strategy is a $103.6 million State Government investment to protect the Kimberley region’s natural assets through targeted conservation initiatives and the creation of the State’s largest connected system of national and marine parks.

Parks and Wildlife staff and Balanggarra rangers will visit Adolphus again this month for camera maintenance and to look for more evidence of cane toads.

“The work on Adolphus tells an important story about impacts of cane toads on native species and provides information about how cane toads survive on remote, relatively dry islands in the Kimberley,” Mr Jacob said.

Fact File

It is believed cane toads ‘rafted’ to Adolphus Island, which is only two kilometres from the banks of the Ord River, during local flooding in 2012

The Liberal National Government has invested more than $8 million in
on-ground activities and research to help manage the impact of cane toads

 


 

I have a decaffeinated coffee table. You'd never know it to look at it.”
Steven Wright