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 Australia’s cane toad

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PostSubject: Australia’s cane toad   Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:02 am

Australia’s cane toad suckers for ultraviolet `disco lights`
Sydney: Poisonous and ugly, Australia’s toads are also suckers for nightlife. Researches looking for ways to eradicate the toxic toads, introduced from Hawaii in the 1935 and now an environmental menace, having found a way to trap them using ultra-violet “disco” lights.
The pests have spread in there millions across the tropical north. Cane toads, some as big as dinner plates, can even kill crocodiles and wild dogs with their hallucinogenic venom. Australian sciences have tried for four decades to find a way to eradicate them, with only limited success.
Residence of Queensland state and the Northern territory have found that ultra-violet disco lights are great way to attract cane toads.
“We’ve found that the old toads are definitely a disco animal,” Frog watch co-coordinator Graham Sawyer said. He said 200 of the toads were caught in a three-week project using the disco lights. About 1500 toads had been trapped since January. It appeared that part of the attraction for the toads seemed to be the swarms of insects that the lights brought. Cane toads were introduced 70 years ago in a bid to fight greyback beetles, which were threatening Australian‘s sugar cane fields. – Reuters
Cape Times, September 5, 2005







Cane toads can move up to 1.8km in one night

Toxic cane toads are evolving into an 'eco-nightmare' that are able to cover huge distances, a study says.

Scientists, writing in the journal Nature, found the toads are getting leggier, moving faster and further than their shorter-legged counterparts.

Cane toads were introduced for pest control in Australia 70 years ago, but have proved an ecological disaster.

They are now found in an area covering over a million square kilometres, but there is no known method of control.

Incredible distances

Cane toads (Bufo marinus), which can weigh up to 2kg, are toxic and highly invasive.

Since their arrival in Queensland in 1935, they have been sweeping through Australia leaving a trail of dead creatures in their wake.

How to control them is the $64 million question

Dr Ben Phillips, University of Sydney

To investigate their worrying spread, scientists looked at cane toads invading the Northern Territory of Australia, at a site about 60km east of Darwin.

They caught the toads, measured them, and also attached a radio-transmitter, weighing about 5-6g, around their waist to track their movements.

"During an invasion process the individuals at the front are there because they have moved the furthest," explained Dr Ben Phillips, an author on the paper and an evolutionary biologist at the University of Sydney, Australia.

"We showed that the toads that are the first to arrive at the front are the ones with the longest legs, and the ones last to arrive have shorter legs.

"The front toads also have much longer legs than the older populations in Queensland."

'Ecological nightmare'

They discovered that the toads were moving incredibly quickly, covering distances about five times faster than when they arrived 70 years ago.

"They are moving around 55km a year on average, which is a long way to hop if you are a toad," said Dr Phillips.

The researchers believe their findings indicate evolution is favouring longer-legged toads which can travel further, quicker, meaning they can encroach on new territories faster than ever before.

The scientists say the toads are causing an "ecological nightmare", killing many native creatures including snakes, monitor lizards and mammal predators, which are poisoned after eating their toxic skin.

So far, scientists have been unable to find a successful way of controlling the ever-spreading invaders, which are now on the cusp of invading Darwin.

"How to control them is the $64 million question," said Dr Phillips.

"A lot of time and money has been spent researching how to control toads, but it is an ongoing problem."
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PostSubject: Re: Australia’s cane toad   Sat Dec 29, 2007 11:19 am

Its just another ...Man made problem Sad
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PostSubject: Re: Australia’s cane toad   Mon Dec 31, 2007 12:53 am

I have a Cane Toad (Bufo Marinus) Very Happy

They're gorgeous toads but I've found youngsters to be quite shy

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PostSubject: Re: Australia’s cane toad   Mon Dec 31, 2007 12:54 am

i just rehomed ours to Dandydi

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PostSubject: Re: Australia’s cane toad   Mon Dec 31, 2007 5:21 am

I'm just setting up a new home for Robert my Cane Toad, I'll post pictures once he's settled Very Happy

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