Hunter Local Land Services to deliver two Cane Toad and Native Frog workshops and spotlight nights at Harrington and Tea Gardens this weekend.

Cane toads are increasingly being reported in the Hunter and MidCoast regions, and these workshops, held intermittently depending on interest, have been organised to ensure the community can help prevent cane toads establishing in the local area.

Cane Toads pose a major threat to our native fauna,” said Mat Bell, Mid Coast Council’s senior ecologist.

While we’re still only getting one-off sightings, generally when a toad has stowed away in a vehicle travelling from Queensland or Northern NSW, one toad can lay 35,000 eggs, so we can’t take these sightings lightly.”

The workshops will help the community to be able to tell the difference between native frogs and cane toads, learn about cane toad versus native frog ecology and how to safely and humanely handle cane toads, as well as identifying high risk sites for potential new cane toad incursions and what to do when you think you’ve spotted one.

If you’re from the Harrington area you can register online at www.hunterlls.wufoo.com  to attend the workshop this Friday 12 February, from 6.30pm to 8.30pm, followed by a spotlight walk from 8.30pm to 10pm. This will take place at Esmond Hogan Oval and surrounds.

For those from the Tea Gardens area who would like to take part in a workshop and spotlight walk you can register via this link www.hunterlls.wufoo.com

This will take place at The Admirals Green Park and surrounds this Saturday 13 February with the workshop running from 6.30pm to 8.30pm, followed by the spotlight walk from 8.30pm to 10pm.

For further information on Cane Toads visit www.lls.nsw.gov.au.

 

Senegal Tea spraying program to begin.

Weeds officers from MidCoast Council will begin their first Senegal Tea spraying program for 2021, this month.

The Senegal Tea management program occurs biannually on the banks of the lower Barrington, Gloucester and upper Manning Rivers and officers will commence this round on 9 February continuing through to 30 April.

Senegal Tea Plant (Gymnocoronis spilanthoides) is a relatively new and emerging weed which was first discovered in the Gloucester area by one of MidCoast Council’s Catchment Weeds Biosecurity Officers, during a 2012 recreational fishing expedition.

It is a native of tropical and sub-tropical regions of the Americas, from Mexico to Argentina.

Senegal Tea is a priority weed within the Hunter region with an objective of eradication and is on the alert list for environmental weeds that threaten biodiversity and cause other environmental damage. Although in the early stages of establishment in the New South Wales, these weeds have the potential to seriously degrade Australia’s ecosystems if left untreated.

Surveys conducted across the MidCoast region have revealed infestations scattered along approximately 60km of the Manning River (120km of stream banks) from Gloucester to Wingham.

Surveying and management of Senegal Tea infestations is extremely difficult due to accessibility limitations, as the plant often invades nooks and crannies in the shallows of riparian and wetland areas,” said Terry Inkson, MidCoast Council’s Strategic Weeds Biosecurity Officer.

A combination of specialised equipment is often necessary to gain access to remote areas and treat infestations.”

The team at MidCoast Council are continually on the lookout for new infestations, with monitoring and surveys ongoing.

Spraying has been divided into 24 segments based on property boundaries along the stretch of river.

Council would like to remind affected residents that only qualified operators will be involved in the operation and as a precaution, residents of these properties are urged to refrain from using, drinking or swimming in the water for 96 hours following the treatments.

To see the locations of spraying and updates on when each section is sprayed, head to Council’s website: www.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/weeds

“This page will continue to be updated as the process continues and anyone interested can check back in for further information, weather reports and changes as they come to hand,” added Terry.

If you would like information on Senegal Tea or to speak to someone about concerns the plant may be on your land, contact one of MidCoast Council’s Weeds Officers for advice and assistance by calling 7955 7777.