Australia: Cane Toads Gone Wild

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The Australian reports that cane toads – the exotic poisonous reptiles that are virtually eliminating all native species they come in contact with – are spreading uncontrollably into western Australia.

Despite the culling of an estimated 200,000 toads and millions of tadpoles over the past two years, a new report says the toads continue to head west across the Northern Territory at a rate of up to 80km a year.

As scientists battle against time to find biological controls to stop the pest, including plans to map the cane toad genome, experts predict the toad may cross the border into Western Australia as early as next year.

The report's author, Tony Peacock, head of the invasive animals co-operative research centre at the University of Canberra, has called for a national cane toad plan to co-ordinate research, culling and other eradication efforts.

Cane toads are found throughout Queensland, the Territory and northern NSW.

Once again, the cane toads kill virtually every native species they contact – they are extremely poisonous – even to humans. But the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals takes great exception to any "cruelty" – or even humor about cruelty – toward them. The RSPCA is apparently less worried about other, native species then they are by an invasive species that is overrunning the continent. Here's a video.

 

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