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Cane Toads, Relentless Invaders

Updated on December 12, 2014
The invasive Cane Toad
The invasive Cane Toad | Source

Those Cunning Cane Toads

A pair of Cane Toads, one male and one female, can populate the whole of Australia's Top End in less than a year.

That's 1,349,129 square kilometres - 520,902 sq miles!

This warty Bufo marinus is a Giant Neotropical Toad, native to Central and South America and we don't want any of them in Australia.

Cane Toad, go home!

Good Morning Cane Toad
Good Morning Cane Toad

Why are Cane Toads in Australia?

You'll find this hard to believe

Back in 1935, some foolish and ignorant official introduced more than 3000 Cane Toads into North Queensland. It was an appalling thing to do. It beggars belief!

Why did they do it?

Someone thought that the Cane Toads would control pests on the sugar cane plantations. These pests were beetles which had themselves been introduced into Australia! Like the Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly.

But the Cane Toads didn't eat the beetles instead it went on to become Australia's most highly invasive species, outranking the fox and the rabbit in destruction of native species.

The Conquest!

If you weren't afraid of Cane Toads before ....

Have a look at the trailer to your right and, if you can manage to do so without a shudder, I'll give you a medal.

In Australia we have to live with these creatures. Ugly? yes, but it's not a matter of how they look it's the damage that they do.

Garden Tree Spirit Toad House
Garden Tree Spirit Toad House

Can you see this in your garden? So ugly it's beautiful. Just beautiful!


Your Very Own Garden Toad

Forget the repulsive visitors to your swimming pool - get yourself a toad replica.

It could keep your pool safe from uninvited guests such as the small boys down the street or a carload of passing drunks looking for a quick dip.

If you're extremely fortunate this handsome replica may even frighten off a Cane Toad

The Kookaburra and the Cane Toad

Time for a snack

Here's one kookaburra who can laugh his way out of trouble.

The toxins in the Cane Toad proved no deterrent when this kookaburra was looking for a snack at Cattana Wetlands. I can only guess that the toad is very small and the poison isn't enough to seriously harm the bird.

There are very few native birds or small mammals which are resistant to Cane Toad toxins.

Photo by amateur photographer and keen bird watcher Harvey Rich, of Mooroobool.

Cane Toads Poison Pets

Cane Toads have glands behind their eyes which emit a poison as a defence mechanism when mouthed by dogs and cats.

This toxin causes profuse salivation, foaming from the mouth and acute vomiting.. Smaller dogs and puppies can tremble, collapse, convulse and die.

A Handsome (?) Specimen of Cane Toad

Winsome or Loathsome - What do you say?

What's your honest opinion of Cane Toads?

If this happened to you ... - What would you do?

What would you do if a Cane Toad arrived on your lawn?

See results

© 2011 Susanna Duffy

Croak to your Heart's Content - in my Guestbook

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    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 

      4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      Goodness, I would probably scream and run away if I saw one.

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 

      4 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      Clever lens with good info! Thanks for sharing.

    • JohnMichael2 profile image


      6 years ago

      sorry to hear about the invasion

    • GonnaFly profile image


      7 years ago from Australia

      And locals swerve all over the road trying to hit these beloved creatures...

    • FanfrelucheHubs profile image

      Nathalie Roy 

      7 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

      I am always surprise. When we, stupid human, introduce a new species, on an island none the less, well we still manage to get all surprise when things go wrong. Still, we keep doing it over and over and over. Plus your cane toads are ugly, at least here in France we are overrun by cute South-American beaver-like creatures...that were supposed to help eat some kind of they are just all out of control and eats everything.

    • kislanyk profile image


      7 years ago from Cyprus

      OMG they're so ugly but in a way still sweet...

    • Paul Ward profile image


      7 years ago from Liverpool, England

      I get the impression you don't like Cane Toads! Serioulsy, it is astounding that so-called experts stil attempt species control by introducing uncontrollable non-native species - a disaster in 99% of the cases it's been tried.


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