The ACT government is asking Canberrans to be on the lookout after two cane toads were found in the capital.
The adult toads were found in Rosenthal Street, Campbell.
It's understood the animals were found in September by a local resident who caught and then froze them.
This is the second sighting of cane toads in the ACT in the last 12 months. The first incident was at a caravan park in O'Connor. A woman who had travelled down from the Nothern Territory spotted the toad coming out of her caravan.
Investigations are ongoing on how the newest sighting of toads came to Canberra.
Director of ACT Parks and Conservation Daniel Iglesias said the incident was believed to be contained and that the toads were inadvertently transported to Canberra via vehicle.
"A local resident found the cane toads and reported them to us," Mr Iglesias said.
"They have since been positively identified by the ACT government biosecurity vet."
Mr Iglesias said it was highly unlikely a cane toad population would establish this far south due to Canberra’s cold winter climate, but they could survive the warmer months.
"They pose a threat to native and domestic animals so we are treating it seriously and working with the community to find any other cane toads if there are any," he said.
Rangers have visited residences near where the cane toads were found and the surrounding area will be searched. A letterbox drop is also being undertaken in the vicinity of where the cane toads were found.
Pest officer Ollie Orgill said the toads were found in the backyard of a Campbell residents property several days apart.
"She noticed something unusual, something she hadn't seen before and she was familiar with the cane toad so she was able to work out pretty quickly that this was an issue, this was something that shouldn't be here," Mr Orgill said.
Cane toads are toxic at all stages of their life cycle from eggs to tadpoles to adults. Their toxin is strong enough to kill most native animals that prey on frogs or toads and their eggs, such as birds, other frogs, reptiles and mammals, including some of our threatened species.
Mr Iglesias urged pet owners in Campbell to be particularly vigilant in the coming weeks.
Cane toads are large with dry warty skin. They have a bony head and over their eyes are bony ridges that meet above the nose. They can be grey, yellowish, olive-brown or reddish-brown and their bellies are pale with dark mottling. Average sized adults are 10-15 centimetres long.
Mr Iglesias said people travelling from Queensland, Northern Territory and northern NSW should be vigilant they are not giving a cane toad a lift in their car, trailer or plant material.
"We all have a shared responsibility when it comes to biosecurity and keeping our bush capital safe from threats," he said.
"A big thank you goes out to the resident who was vigilant enough to report the cane toads."
What if you think you see one?
- Do not kill it as it is most likely a native frog
- Exercise caution and take a close-up photograph
- Wearing rubber gloves and eye protection put into a well-ventilated container with 1cm of water
- Email EPSDInvasiveAnimals@act.gov.au or phone Access Canberra on 13 22 81.
For more information please visit www.environment.act.gov.au/cane-toads