Cane toads a major problem in Australia

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

Non-native species should count in conservation – even in Australia

Citation: Cane toads a major problem in Australia (2006, February 16) retrieved 9 December 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2006-02-cane-toads-major-problem-australia.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
0 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments