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Cane toads were imported by the Australian Bureau of Sugar Experimental Stations to eat cane beetles. The beetles were a major pest of sugar cane and threatened to ruin the industry. The Greyback and French's Cane Beetles, native insects that naturally ate grass roots, bored into the roots of sugar cane crops and were causing the plants to die and go brown. Control with poisons like arsenic trioxide, carbon disulfide and even 1,4 dichlorobenzene was failing badly, and the success of biological control against he prickly pear led influential politicians and the CSIR to believe the toad would eat the beetles.

Unfortunately, toads cannot access adult beetles which fly away and the larvae live underground, so the experiment was a failure. European common toads (Bufo bufo) were tested for controlling grass grubs, but it was found they could not dig down to reach them - a basic quarantine process never done with cane toads.

Since none of Australia's native animals have resistance to bufotenin (unlike other places where cane toads have been introduced), they have become more of a pest than the beetles ever were. Quolls, medium-sized carnivorous marsupials, have been very badly hit by poisoning from toads and now are largely confined to Tasmania where toads cannot reach (they sink in seawater). Many snakes have also declined badly where toads are present.

Fertility control methods, though as yet unproven despite years of research, offer the only hope for control. However, I do not even know basic questions on this issue like how long poisonous toad eggs remain viable without sperm to fertilise them - I have assumed they would eventually die in the absence of sperm, but I have not found data.

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โˆ™ 2012-05-21 14:18:37
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Q: Why were cane toads introduced in Australia?
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Related questions

What year were cane toads introduced in Australia?

Cane toads were introduced into Australia in 1935.

What year were cane toads introduced to Australia?

The cane toad was introduced into Australia in 1935.

When were cane toads introduced to Australia?

Cane toads were introduced to Australia in 1935. They were brought from Hawaii to Australia in an effort to control the grey-backed cane beetle population.

Where were cane toads introduced in Australia?

Cane toads were first introduced to the regions surrounding Cairns in far north Queensland.

What toad was introduced into Australia?

The cane toad was introduced into Australia. Australia has no native toads at all.

How did cane toads get to North America?

Cane Toads originate from Central- and North America. They were introduced in many nations with Australia as the most well-known country.

What countries do cane toads live in?

cane toads live Australia

What year was the cane toad intoduced to Australia?

Cane Toads were introduced to Australia from Hawaii in June 1935 in an attempt to control the native Cane Beetle (Dermolepida albohirtum). ( Wikipedia ).

Why were cane toads introduced to Australia?

Cane toads were collected in Hawaii and released in Queensland, Australia in 1935. The hope was that they would eat two species of beetle (French's cane beetle and the greyback cane beetle) that were pests of commercially-grown sugar cane. The toads did not control the beetles, but they did multiply, and are still expanding their range west and south across Australia.

Why doesn't our Governments want Cane Toads to live in Australia?

our government doesnt want cane toads to live in austraila as they where introduced in 1935 to eat the beetle dermolepida,this worked but then cane toads spred all over australia killing lots of australias native animals

Who brought cane toads?

Cane toads were brought to Australia by British settlers.

When were cane toads introduced into Australia?

August 1935 102 toads, collected from Hawaii, 51 males and 51 females were brought to Australia and released in August of 1935.

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