Stopping the Cane Toad

When Australian scientists failed to find a virus to control one of the most insidious invasive species, they decided to build one. Is it worth the risk?

By Brendan Borrell
All photos by Brendan Borrell

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1 "Everyone was very excited about that," he says, because it meant that there might be a pathogen that would kill the cane toad and only the cane toad. In 1993, CSIRO received another $2 million AUD ($1.4 million US) for four more years of research.

Shine's group has found that the benefit for a male colonizing a new waterhole is so great that advancing toads are evolving longer legs, which allows them to hop westward more quickly.

A solution seemed to be near. Hyatt ran some trials at AAHL and found that the viruses killed 100% of their cane toad tadpoles, which is the most susceptible stage in...

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