21 June 2018
Groote Eylandt detection dog has the nose for the job

CANE toad detection dog, Edna and her handler were put through their paces in June, with their annual validation testing and maintenance training assessment.

Handler, Tom Lawton from ALC Rangers, said testing was undertaken by dog trainer Craig Murray from Credible Canines, who bred and trained Edna to detect cane toads.

Cane toads are a toxic pest intentionally introduced into Australia in the 1930’s in a bid to protect sugar cane crops from cane beetles. They have been responsible for huge declines in native species across northern and eastern mainland Australia.

“Validation testing and maintenance training ensures that both Edna and Tom are hitting their targets and performing to the highest possible level,” Craig said.

“Tom and Edna are a great team and Tracey and I are really happy to be part of such a great biosecurity program on Groote.”

He and his wife Tracey visit Groote Eylandt every year to do the assessment. 

Quarantine and Biosecurity Officer Tom Lawton said Edna was an important link in the chain of defence against cane toads getting to Groote Eylandt.

“The quarantine and biosecurity program is the result of a successful collaboration between South 32 and the ALC, and Groote Eylandt is one of only a few islands left in the NT that is still declared cane toad free,” he said.

Keeping Groote cane toad free is everyone’s responsibility.

If you are traveling to Groote make sure you check all of your belongings that have been outside such as boots and camping gear to ensure that there are no cane toads hiding inside.

If you see a cane toad anywhere in the Groote Archipelago catch it and call 8987 4425 immediately. For more information go to Quarantine & Biosecurity.