Saturday, 9 March 2013

Australia's native frogs beat invasive toads

By Ella Davies, Reporter, BBC Nature

The tadpoles of Australia's native frogs can outcompete invasive toads, scientists say.
The toads are considered a threat to Australian wildlife, leading researchers to investigate methods to control their population.

A study into competition between wild amphibian young revealed that the presence of green tree frogs reduced cane toad survival.

Experts now suggest reintroducing the familiar frogs to suburban areas.

The results are published in the journal Austral Ecology.

Cane toads are native to South America but were introduced to Australia in 1935 to control sugar cane pests.

Non-native nightmares
They are now one of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) top 100 invasive species and considered feral pests across north-eastern Australia.

Their large clutches of eggs, ability to migrate 40km per year and poisonous defence are outlined as some of the primary reasons for their population explosion.

However, research by Professor Richard Shine and colleagues from the University of Sydney has highlighted the weaknesses of the animals in early stages of development.

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