Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Darwin's revenge -- Australia invaded by toxic toads!

By Aussiegirl

"They are moving around 55km a year on average, which is a long way to hop if you are a toad," said Dr Phillips. It's not nice to fool Mother Nature!

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Toxic toads 'threaten disaster'

The toxic cane toad in Australia is evolving into an "eco-nightmare" capable of covering huge distances, a study in the journal Nature reports.

Scientists say the species Bufo marinus is developing a leggier, faster-moving form that is now hopping out rapidly across the continent.

[...] They kill snakes, lizards, water birds - even crocodiles and dingos.

[...] They were first introduced to Queensland from South America in 1935, in an attempt to wipe out cane beetles, a pest that was destroying sugar crops in north-east Australia at the time.

Since then, the toads have been sweeping through Australia leaving a trail of dead creatures in their wake.

[..] The scientists say the toads are causing an "ecological nightmare".

So far, researchers have been unable to find a successful way of controlling the ever-spreading invaders, which are now on the cusp of invading Darwin.


At 8:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And it won't be too long before they move on to the Kimberley region in the North of West Australia, the state in which I live. Besides their sheer poisonousness, they also breed at a very high rate, adding to the problem.


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