Hunter Local Land Services (HLLS) has urged people to keep an eye out for cane toads after another sighting in the region.
The confirmed toad, found in Lake Macquarie this week, is believed to have travelled to the area in sugar cane mulch designed for use on local gardens.
Cane toads can hurt humans and kill domestic pets, such as dogs and cats, while they are also poisonous to many native species.
Residents in Eleebana, Warners Bay, Mount Hutton and Swansea, particularly, are asked to watch out for them.
“[They] are not endemic in our region, they are an invasive pest and could have devastating impacts on our local environment if they became established here,” HLLS acting general manager, Andrew Hodgson, said.
“We have heard of toads travelling on vehicles before, but it appears this toad hitched a ride in a load of mulch that was destined for local gardens.”
HLLS stated many people can’t tell the difference between a native frog and a cane toad because they share features such as warty skin, a visible ear drum and webbed toes.
However, unlike native frogs, adult cane toads all have distinct bony ridges above the eyes; a large paratoid gland behind each eye; unwebbed hands; dry, warty skin; and can range in colour from grey, yellowish, red-brown, or olive-brown, with varying patterns.
If you notice anything unusual or are aware of a plant or animal disease threat, HLLS on 1300 795 299.