Cane toads a major problem in Australia

Feb 16, 2006

Cane toads are capable of moving nearly 1 mile in one night and that is translating into a major problem in Australia.

Scientists, writing in the journal Nature, say cane toads -- Bufo marinus -- are developing a leggier, faster-moving form that is now moving quickly across the continent.

The amphibians that can weigh more than 4 pounds were introduced to Queensland from South America in 1935, in an attempt to wipe out cane beetles, a pest that was destroying sugar crops in northeast Australia, the BBC reported.

Since then, the toads have become a major threat to indigenous animals, killing snakes, lizards, water birds and even crocodiles.

Scientists told the BBC the toads are moving at a rate five times faster than when they arrived in Australia -- covering an average of nearly 35 miles annually.

Researchers have been unable to devise a method of controlling the spread of the toads, which scientists say are causing an "ecological nightmare."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Exposure to harmful phthalates from processed foods and soft drinks

Related Stories

Iran poses growing cyber threat to US: study

20 minutes ago

Iran poses a growing threat to America's computer networks and has launched increasingly sophisticated digital attacks and spying on US targets, according to a new report released Thursday.

Humans can't resist those puppy-dog eyes

39 minutes ago

(HealthDay)—When humans and their four-legged, furry best friends look into one another's eyes, there is biological evidence that their bond strengthens, researchers report.

Roundworm parasite targets canine eyes

39 minutes ago

(HealthDay)—A small number of dogs and cats across the United States have been infected by a roundworm parasite that targets the eye, according to a new report.

Diversity is key to stability, grassland study finds

49 minutes ago

Biological diversity brings beauty and variety to our lives and to the world around us. It also could be the key to keeping ecosystems strong, according to a new University of Minnesota study published April 17 in the journal ...

Giant galaxies die from the inside out

59 minutes ago

A major astrophysical mystery has centred on how massive, quiescent elliptical galaxies, common in the modern Universe, quenched their once furious rates of star formation. Such colossal galaxies, often also ...

Recommended for you

Devices or divisive: Mobile technology in the classroom

9 hours ago

Little is known about how new mobile technologies affect students' development of non-cognitive skills such as empathy, self-control, problem solving, and teamwork. Two Boston College researchers say it's ...

Forming school networks to educate 'the new mainstream'

15 hours ago

As immigration increases the number of non-English speaking "culturally and linguistically diverse" students, schools will need to band together in networks focused on the challenges of educating what has been called "the ...

Rare tidal movements expose Kimberley dinosaur tracks

15 hours ago

While audiences in Perth attend Walking with Dinosaurs this weekend palaeontologists working near Broome will be documenting the extinct vertebrates' extensive fossilised footsteps using laser scanning technology.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.