Can ‘people power’ work in the cane toad war?
In Greening Australia‘s ‘Exchange eBulletin’ – always a good read – I learned this fortnight that cane toads were introduced as long ago as 1935, and that for the past eight years on the NSW far north coast, hundreds of Yamba residents have been conducting an annual cane toad ’round-up and bash’ which is proving to be an effective method of controlling numbers as the toads move further into NSW every year.
The NSW Scientific Committee recently listed cane toads as a key threat to the environment and it has been suggested in the New South Wales Parliament that more local communities could take the Yamba approach.
Michael Richardson – the Opposition spokesperson on the environment – called it a way of “engaging the community in dealing with the problem”. He was asked if he would support a state-wide ‘whacking day’, modelled on an episode of The Simpsons in which townsfolk band together to club snakes, but replied, “I think that might be going a little bit far, because we’re going to clean up the cane toad before it comes to that aren’t we?”
Premier Morris Iemma said the Government was working on developing a statewide plan to deal with the cane toad invasion and RSPCA NSW said it was irresponsible to suggest anything resembling ‘whacking days’ to deal with cane toads.
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