MIDCOAST council says there has been a suspected cane toad sighting in Hawks Nest.
The council has now asked residents to keep watch for other cane toads with a view to capturing one alive.
The cane toad was reportedly found dead on Coorilla Street in Hawks Nest, with the Department of Primary Industries later advising the council.
It follows other infrequent sightings of cane toads in the area – including one found alive in Forster Keys in 2010.
MidCoast council senior ecologist Mat Bell said it is thought cane toads seen in the area had “hitch-hiked” with motorists travelling from northern NSW and Queensland.
“This possible sighting highlights the need for residents and visitors to become familiar with the difference between native frogs and cane toads and assist us in preventing the invasion and spread of toads in our area by reporting any sighting. We must do what we can to prevent the establishment of this species in the area,” he said.
The council asked residents who spot a cane toad to “capture the animal alive, take photos and contact Council, the NSW DPI or NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service for further advice”.
Caution should be taken when handling cane toads. Rubber gloves should be worn to grip the toad firmly but gently, avoiding skin contact with its toxin. Medical attention should be sought if the toxin comes into contact with eyes.