Toads on march to the south

Australia’s cane toad plague could engulf Melbourne, western Tasmania, Perth and the outskirts of Adelaide, according to the latest government projections of the pests’ relentless spread.

Despite spending more than 25 years trying to halt the slow but relentless march of the poisonous amphibians, cane toads continue to spread from Queensland across the country at about 30km a year.

The federal Government’s State of the Environment says projections of the cane toads’ potential distribution include coastal regions across southeast and southwest Australia, as well as across the tropics and even as far south as parts of Tasmania.

“The distribution of cane toads in Australia is expanding, and bio-climatic analyses suggest they could eventually spread over most coastal areas,” the report says.