Council of Agriculture Announces: The Cane Toad is a Harmful Invasive Species, Owners Must Register for Inspection by June 14

The cane toad (Rhinella marina) is listed as one of the 100 Worst Invasive Species. In November 2021, a wild population of cane toads was found in Caotun, Nantou. The Forestry Bureau, Council of Agriculture, immediately worked with the Society for Taiwan Amphibian Conservation to remove it. According to the provisions of Article 31, Paragraph 1 of the Wildlife Conservation Act, the cane toad has been added to the “List of Non-native Terrestrial Wildlife That Is Harmful to the Ecological Environment as Well as Human and Animal Safety,” as announced by the Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan, on April 7, 2022. To prevent cane toads that were kept or bred by members of the public from accidentally escaping into the wild and causing environmental disasters. After the announcement came into effect on April 15, toad owners must complete registration of the cane toads in their possession with the local county (city) and municipal governments by June 14, 2022, while the toads can no longer be bred or traded privately. Violators will be fined from NT$10,000 up to NT$50,000.
The Forestry Bureau pointed out that following the announcement on the “green iguana” (Iguana iguana) as a harmful invasive species in 2019, the cane toad has also been added to this list. The creature is native to the tropical regions of the Americas, has a long life span, high levels of adaptability and prolificacy, and will prey on small wildlife. The poison gland (parotid gland) of the cane toad is large and distinctive. It can cause death by poisoning when ingested by predatory carnivores, and can also be fatal in dogs and cats through accidental contact (licking or ingesting), which means that the cane toad poses a threat to the ecosystem and human and animal safety. In the past, cane toads were introduced to many countries around the world as a pest control measure for sugar cane, bananas, and other cash crops, and have now become an ecological hazard in Australia, the Philippines, and Japan.
The cane toad had not been found in the wild in Taiwan before. However, a wild population was found in a vegetable garden in Caotun, Nantou, on November 7, 2021. It is suspected to be the result of released or abandoned pet toads breeding in the wild. To prevent the invasion from spreading, the Forestry Bureau partnered with the Endemic Species Research Institute (ESRI), the Society for Taiwan Amphibian Conservation, and the Nantou County Government to launch the removal operation. To date, more than 1,600 toads have been removed. To prevent and manage cane toads from entering the ecosystem from the source and making it more difficult to remove the animals from the wild, the Council of Agriculture (COA) has added the cane toad to the “List of Non-native Terrestrial Wildlife That Is Harmful to the Ecological Environment as Well as Human and Animal Safety” for management and control.
According to the Forestry Bureau, after the announcement takes effect, owners of cane toads must bring the relevant application forms and supporting documents (proof of owner’s identity, photos to identify the toad, and related documents) to the competent authorities of the local municipalities and counties (cities) where the animals are kept before June 14, 2022, in order to continue keeping or in possession of the toads. Furthermore, cane toads may no longer be bred or sold privately. For owners or breeders who cannot continue to keep the toads, the animals under their possession may be surrendered to the competent authorities of the local municipalities and counties (cities) within the registration period. Please do not release or abandon the cane toads into the wild in order to preserve the ecosystem of Taiwan. By registering and managing individual animals and through the regular inspection of the individuals under control every year, we can effectively prevent people from abandoning the toads or breeding the toads in private.
The Forestry Bureau emphasized that if a cane toad owner does not complete the registration with the competent authorities of the local municipalities and counties (cities) within the time limit, or evades inspections by the competent authorities after registration, a minimum penalty of NT$10,000 and maximum of NT$50,000 can be imposed in accordance with Article 51 of the Wildlife Conservation Act. Members of the public can visit the Nature Conservation website of the Forestry Bureau/Media Downloads/Download Application Forms to download the registration application form. Cane toad owners must complete the registration or surrender the toads that they can no longer keep before the deadline.
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Visit counts:254 Last updated on:2022-12-09