Wildlife conservationists are warning the endangered quoll population in New South Wales could be wiped out because of cane toads migrating from Queensland.
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) says warmer temperatures due to climate change are causing the toads to move south.
They say predators of the toad can die from eating the poisonous species and could be made extinct.
The fund’s threatened species coordinator, Dr Mina Bassarova, says the spotted-tail quoll is particularly at risk because populations of the marsupial are so small.
“We know that the western quoll and the northern quoll are both killed from poisoning when they eat the cane toads, so it’s considered likely that the spotted-tail quoll, which is found in NSW, would also be susceptible to the poison of the cane toads.”
Dr Mina Bassarova says it is hard to predict how far toads could spread into NSW,\ but an increase in nature reserve systems could protect the quoll and other endangered animals.
Dr Tammie Matson, also from the WWF, says other species are also at risk.
“Australia already has the worst rate of mammal extinction in the world. A lot of our kangaroo and wallaby species are already facing extinction,” she said.
“We’ve lost several species already, they’re already extinct. What climate change will mean for these species is that their core climatic range may disappear entirely.”