Fighting toads, with toads?

An Australian research group is proposing a surprising technique to alleviate the ecological damage that the invasive cane toad has caused to many regions of Australia. linkurl:Rick Shine;http://www.bio.usyd.edu.au/Shinelab/shine/shine.html at Sidney University suggested yesterday in a lecture to the Australian Academy of Sciences that researchers introduce tiny cane toads to areas where they have not yet been found, reasoning that it will help animals learn to avoid the toxic creatures, the Ne

By | May 8, 2008

An Australian research group is proposing a surprising technique to alleviate the ecological damage that the invasive cane toad has caused to many regions of Australia. linkurl:Rick Shine;http://www.bio.usyd.edu.au/Shinelab/shine/shine.html at Sidney University suggested yesterday in a lecture to the Australian Academy of Sciences that researchers introduce tiny cane toads to areas where they have not yet been found, reasoning that it will help animals learn to avoid the toxic creatures, the New Scientist linkurl:reported.;http://environment.newscientist.com/channel/earth/dn13847-teacher-toads-could-be-deployed-as-bioweapons.html?feedId=online-news_rss20 He proposes releasing baby male, sterile, "teacher toads," too small to kill most other animals if ingested, but potent enough that animals learn to avoid them. Last month we linkurl:reported;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/54497/ on efforts to engineer a virus that will cull the cane toad population, which is wreaking havoc on indigenous plant and animal species in Australia. Shine suggested that the baby toads could be infected with a cane toad-specific lung parasite to keep their population in check.

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