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Say your prayers, cane toads

Though Australian scientists are working to linkurl:engineer a virus;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/54497/ to control the invasive pests, an Aussie politician has suggested a less subtle solution: kill 'em all. Shane Knuth, a legislator in the northeastern state of Queensland (where cane toads thrive), has proposed and official day for residents to hunt down and kill the exotic invaders. Cane toads have plagued the land down under for decades, and their increasing numbers and tox

By | April 4, 2008

Though Australian scientists are working to linkurl:engineer a virus;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/54497/ to control the invasive pests, an Aussie politician has suggested a less subtle solution: kill 'em all. Shane Knuth, a legislator in the northeastern state of Queensland (where cane toads thrive), has proposed and official day for residents to hunt down and kill the exotic invaders. Cane toads have plagued the land down under for decades, and their increasing numbers and toxic skin threaten the survival of native Australian animal species. For a feature in this month's issue of __The Scientist__, Brendan Borrell traveled to Australia and met some of the researchers aiming to modify a __Ranavirus__ that could decimate toad populations. He also visited with linkurl:"Toadbusters";http://www.the-scientist.com/2008/4/1/57/1/ seeking to exterminate the pest using brute force. Knuth's proposal for a day of amphibian massacre, which he dubbed "Toad Day Out," calls for an even wider effort. The plan has gained the approval of Australia's Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which told the linkurl:__Associated Press__;http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/O/ODD_AUSTRALIA_TOAD_HUNTING?SITE=CAVIC&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT that the hunt was acceptable as long as the toads were killed humanely.
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Comments

Avatar of: Gordon Couger

Gordon Couger

Posts: 23

April 7, 2008

If they have a toad killing day every year they may have some effect on the toad population in the long term. But one day in one year will only set them back a bit.\n\nGordon Couger\nStillwater OK
Avatar of: anonymous poster

anonymous poster

Posts: 9

April 7, 2008

I live on a large property in SE Queensland Australia. while I agree that we humans need to control cane toads, we have observed that over the past few years there are several species of birds that regularly consume the toads without ill effects. However, they don't eat all of the toad but turn them on their backs and eat the portions from under the chin to the top of the pelvis. they also eat the internal organs of the toad.On every stump around our dams and waterholes on the property, one can see the remains of toads that have been eaten this way. The main predators appear to be Butcher Birds and herons, but perhaps there are also others. It is known that a species of snake called the Keel Back also predates cane toads with impunity.\nBarbara from SE Qld
Avatar of: anonymous poster

anonymous poster

Posts: 3

April 9, 2008

if they want to ask people to kill cane toads, they should make sure they cannot be confused and kill other species as well! \nOther frogs/toads may suffer from "friendly fire" in this war...
Avatar of: Leigh Pascoe

Leigh Pascoe

Posts: 3

April 10, 2008

This report is further evidence, if any was needed, that science policy should never be put in the hands of politicians. The idea that the cane toad population could be affected by a killing day is laughable.

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