#WATWB May – Edna the Pest Tester


Edna the Labrador and Tom the Quarantine Officer.  Picture: ABC News.

Peter Nena, Andrea Michaels, Inderpreet Kaur Uppal, Shilpa Garg 

and Damyanti Biswas

are our friendly co-hosts for We Are The World Blogfest #WATWB May.

Please visit these co-hosts and check out their stories.

A special welcome to new viewers and welcome back to some of our previous visitors.

The Cane Toad  2228696-3x2-340x227.jpg (Picture: ABC News) 

 is an introduced species to Australia. It was brought here from Hawaii to control the native grey-backed cane beetle and Frenchi beetle in sugar plantations. In some Northern States it has now become a pest and it is a toxic hazard to mammals. Preventing the spread of this atrocious amphibian is a constant task.

Amidst this task, ABC News has found a patch of silver lining.  Warning! It involves canine cuteness.

Enda the Labrador and Tom Lawton, a Quarantine and Biosecurity Officer with the Anindilyakwa Land and Sea Rangers based in Alyangula, are sniffing out the presence of Cane Toads in Groote Eylandt. It is part of a far flung archipelago near East Arnhem Land in the Gulf of Carpentaria.

As Wikipedia informs us:

Groote Eylandt is the largest island in the Gulf of Carpentaria and the fourth largest island in Australia. It is the homeland of, and is owned by, the Warnindhilyagwa who speak the isolated Anindilyakwa language.

Groote Eylandt lies about 50 km (31 mi) from the Northern Territory mainland and eastern coast of Arnhem Land, about 630 kilometres (390 mi) from Darwin, opposite Blue Mud Bay. The island measures about 50 kilometres (31 mi) from east to west and 60 kilometres (37 mi) from north to south; its area is 2,326.1 km2 (898.1 sq mi). It is generally quite low-lying, with an average height above sea level of 15 metres (49 ft), although Central Hill reaches an elevation of 219 metres (719 ft). It was named by the explorer Abel Tasman in 1644 and is Dutch for “Large Island” in an archaic spelling.

images.jpg (Picture: ozoutback.com.au)

For more pictures of Groote Eylandt, follow this link.

Meanwhile, back to our story. So, Edna and Tom are ensuring that Cane Toads do not get a hold of Groote Eylandt, thanks to Edna’s ability to sniff out the presence of either live or dead toads. Currently, this duo has the problem by the nose.  You can check out the full ABC News report yourselves

* * * * * * * * *

With a sniff and a snuff, and a bit of a “Ruff”,

Edna goes about her way.

As the barge sets sail, she wags her tail,

To begin her working day.

When a Cane Toad’s found, she stands her ground,

As Tom helps her in the fray.

Groote Eylandt is free of a Cane Toad spree,

And man’s best friend is here to stay.

* * * * * * * *


Want to join the WATWB Blogfest? Check out some details here.


Author: simonfalk28

Country lad, Focussing on verse.

20 thoughts on “#WATWB May – Edna the Pest Tester”

  1. Lovely post Simon thanks! Good on Edna and Tom – and your poem! Interestingly Retirement Reflections put up a #WATWB post on invasive plants in Canada and successful efforts to get rid of these aliens! Have a great weekend 🙂

    1. It was a last minute dash to find a story this time, Shilpa. But I just could not let our crew down. You are as steadfast as ever and gracious. Thank you.

  2. Love your poem tribute to the charming Edna and her masterful sniffer. Good things come in adorable packages – isn’t that how the expression goes? 🙂

  3. It’s too bad that humans did not learn early on to leave earth’s critters in their original habitat. How often has something like this happened all over the planet? Probably too many times to count, but I’m glad that we have Edna helping with the situation in Australia. I hope she gets lots of treats for her good works.

  4. Hi Simon – it’ll be so interesting to see how Edna and Tom do as time goes on – those cane toads sounds monstrous … and really appalling. There are so many ‘weeds’, invasive species both flora and fauna – we just didn’t appreciate what we were doing a few centuries ago … we keep trying things to keep pests under control – I certainly hope the toxic toads can be curtailed and eliminated … Edna is a delight … I hope she’s having lots of pups. Broom is a major challenge here … as Donna describes …. cheers Hilary

  5. What a trip. I’ve heard about the problem with cane toads. Good to know someone’s trying to do something about them. We had a similar problem in Farmington with prairie dogs chewing on the cables at the local airport, so they brought in rattlesnakes – which were at least indigenous to the area – to control the prairie dog population. They just wound up with an infestation of rattlesnakes instead.

  6. Introduced species are such a pain– the price we pay for human stupidity. Such an effort from Edna and Tom, and what a cute little poem to praise their endeavor, Simon! 🙂

    1. Our human stupidity is boundless, Damyanti. At times I think it rebounds. Such is our slowness to learn. I take hope in small progresses. A couple of people who started a thing called WATWB may be raising some awareness though. More power to them. 😉

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