A break for cane toads?

A new and unexpected obstacle is thwarting efforts to control the invasive cane toad populations in Australia: a potential ban on the most commonly used method for killing the animals -- carbon dioxide. Image: Wikimedia commonsThe linkurl:Kimberley Toad Busters;http://www.canetoads.com.au/ (KTB) have been using carbon dioxide exposure to euthanize the toads for five years, successfully eliminating more than half a million pests. But last year, after the cane toad populations made their way into

Jef Akst
Jef Akst

Jef Akst is managing editor of The Scientist, where she started as an intern in 2009 after receiving a master’s degree from Indiana University in April 2009 studying the mating behavior of seahorses.

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Jan 6, 2010
A new and unexpected obstacle is thwarting efforts to control the invasive cane toad populations in Australia: a potential ban on the most commonly used method for killing the animals -- carbon dioxide.
Image: Wikimedia commons
The linkurl:Kimberley Toad Busters;http://www.canetoads.com.au/ (KTB) have been using carbon dioxide exposure to euthanize the toads for five years, successfully eliminating more than half a million pests. But last year, after the cane toad populations made their way into Western Australia (WA), the linkurl:Department of Environment and Conservation;http://www.dec.wa.gov.au/canetoads (DEC) -- a department of the WA government -- announced that they would not support the use of CO2 until further trials had been done, leaving the KTB nearly weaponless against the rapidly spreading invasion just as the first major wet season rains are starting to fall. (Cane toads have seriously upset Australia's ecosystem, consuming native insects, out-competing the continent's wildlife, and devastating populations of animals...
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