The herptile blog.

All about the herpetological world.

Cane toad control in a can

Posted by Miqe on June 27, 2007

Close up of a poisonous cane toad sitting on a log. (Click for larger image.)

The cane toad (Bufo marinus) is one of Australia’s worst introduced pests.

Initially introduced to help control the native cane beetle, cane toads quickly established themselves in ecosystems across north Queensland and have spread south to New South Wales and west into the Northern Territory.

Attempts to control the pest have often been thwarted by the toad’s ability to reproduce at an alarming rate and toad numbers across Australia are now estimated to be as high as 200 million (that’s approximately ten toads for every man woman and child in the country). However, the tide could be about to turn with the release of a new piece of Australian ingenuity – toad-spray.

Dr. David Dall is a scientist who has developed the aerosol-based pesticide, which he says euthanases cane toads and creates and exclusion zone around the family home or business.

Dr. Dall says that the product is non-toxic and will dispatch toads on to the next world in a peaceful manor.

“This material is a combination of things that you would find around you house… our advance has been to combine them in particular proportions,” he said.

“One of the components in the mixture acts as an anaesthetic for cane toads so it immobilises them very soon after treatment and another one of the components then basically kills the toad before they can wake up again so it’s safe, it’s humane and it’s very effective.

Dr. Dall says that the product is not currently available as it still has to pass through Australia’s regulatory process, but he hopes to have it on the market within the year.

“Were it has to go now is through the regulatory process that takes a little while and there’s very good reason why that has to be done even though I trust my work it has to be verified, obviously. We are looking for this to be on the shelves of about April next year.”

From ABC

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3 Responses to “Cane toad control in a can”

  1. [...] part of the so-called “Toad Buster” project, the researchers caught more than 200 cane toads in three weeks at a location south of [...]

  2. jake said

    does any 1 know if ther is a history of cane toads in europe. i have seen 2 in the last week working in a garden (berlin-germany). and i am a queenslander and have seen millions so i know deffinitly it was a canetoad.

  3. Richard said

    Yes I saw one tonight. I live in the Vendee, (western france) and was tending a bonfire when I saw what I thought was a Hedgehog aproaching the roaring fire! I had to tempt the thing away with my garden fork before it reluctantly crawled back into the undergrowth. I wanted to pick it up but was too scared LOL. It was bigger than my hand easy, and when I told my wife she said could it have been a cane toad? I looked up the images on google and can definitely say that it was a cane toad, I distincly remember the spots/warts or whatever the term is for them all over it’s back. I’m sure I read somewhere that they go on an annual hunt for them round here but thought it was for bullfrogs?

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