They are the cause for the demise of a number of

native Australian wildlife. They breed at a prolific
rate and leave a path of destruction.
A 7.30 report in April this year discussed
the effects the ‘ugly’, ‘adaptable’ cane toad
has on native Australian wildlife. With their
increasing numbers scientists are finding it
hard to control. The report describes,
“Millions of taxpayer dollars have been spent
trying to find a biological control but so far
the toads are winning.”

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“Millions of taxpayer dollars have
been spent trying to find a biological
control but so far the toads are
winning.”
The native quoll, snakes, fresh water
crocodiles and goannas are among the type of
wildlife that the cane toad can have a lethal
effect on if eaten.
The Australian Government Policy on Cane
Toads states that “research from the
University of Sydney indicates that they also
appear to be evolving adaptations to suit their
new environment, enabling the colonising
toads to move more quickly.” With these
adaptations toads are more likely to destroy
larger numbers of native Australian wildlife
and as they move into more urban
environments ‘the risk of children or pets
being poisoned from contact with toads’ is at
an all-time high which is of major concern.
In the midst of this, there are initiatives to
help wildlife such as the goanna. From careful
observation of native planigales, this species
will learn to avoid toads if they recover from
the first encounter of the toad toxin. Similarly,
populations of the black snake ‘have
undergone rapid evolutionary adaptations in
behaviour and physiology in response to the
presence of cane toads’. Now, State and
Federal Government funding are going
towards the radio tracking program.

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Goannas are fitted with radio tracking
devices, those of which are fed a small toad
and monitored in hope they learn to steer
clear of the cane toad. This is in preparation
for mass colonisation of the cane toad in this
particular environment. The program has seen
success with goannas refusing to eat the cane
toad.
- Article by N. Westcott, 2014