Cane Toads, Relentless Invaders
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!
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.
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.
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?
Proof of Toad Nastiness
- Cane toad hitches ride from Kununurra to Perth
A truck driver found a live cane toad in the back of a truck carrying watermelons from Kununurra.
- Mutant cane toads threaten Perth and Adelaide
Cane Toad's body shape has changed and they now can move more quickly and have become more resilient to cope with very high temperatures.
If this happened to you ... - What would you do?
What would you do if a Cane Toad arrived on your lawn?
© 2011 Susanna Duffy