Over the last 4 weeks I have discovered four dead cane toads within the garden confine, unseen before the last 2 years. In Fred Pearce’s book, THE NEW WILD, Rick Shine of the University of Sydney says “the vast majority of smaller predators learned not to eat the poisonous cane toad. Slowly, the larger predators got the message too. Fresh water crocodiles learned to nibble the toads fleshy back legs and leave the rest of the body. The black kite and the crow have both developed the trick of avoiding the poison gland by attacking its throat and belly.
“Aversion learning”, Shine concludes.
No injury marks on the dead toad below. Another one I found a year earlier had its eyes removed and was sitting, still alive, in the hot sun. I felt sorry for it.
Another news item this week. Herpes to be introduced to Carp in the Murray-Darling Basin. I was wondering if Carp would feel the same pain human herpes sufferers feel?
I am NOT convinced and have been thinking of all the products that could come in incentives from Governments to support Carp entrepreneurial thinking. Fertilizers, fish farm food, food supplement for hens, recipes galore for humans ect.
Surely there is a better way?
Invasion, from introduced plant species, to cane toads and Carp, are filling the niche we humans have usually created. Create a space and something will inhabit it if nearby and favorable.
Dingo’s, the sheep and the rabbit, all introduced through migration, have all helped to evolve Australia into what it is ecologically today.
The unforeseen danger of any bio-control is that they can start to impact on the wider ecology and with far reaching consequences.