Posted by: Loren Coleman on March 27th, 2007
The Associated Press is reporting in breaking news dispatches this morning that the environmental group Frogwatch has found a toad the size of a small dog. They captured the 15-inch-long cane toad (Bufo marinus) during a raid on a pond outside the northern city of Darwin, Australia, late Monday, March 26, 2007.
Frogwatch says the toad is the size of a football (they don’t identify what kind, but the Australian organization’s spokesperson is probably talking about what we Americans call a “soccer ball.”) The toad weighs 2 pounds, and is among the largest specimens ever captured in Australia, according to Frogwatch coordinator Graeme Sawyer.
It’s huge, to put it mildly. The biggest toads are usually females but this one was a rampant male … I would hate to meet his big sister.Graeme Sawyer
The toxic cane toads were imported from South America during the 1930s in a failed attempt to control beetles on Australia’s northern sugar cane plantations. (A similar cane toad problem has developed in the recent past in Florida.) The poisonous toads have proven fatal to Australia’s delicate ecosystems, killing millions of native animals from snakes to the small crocodiles that eat them. Frogwatch’s “Toad Buster” project is dedicated to wiping them out.
We kill them with carbon dioxide gas, stockpile them in a big freezer and then put them through a liquid fertilizer process [which results in a product that is nontoxic.] It turns out to be sensational fertilizer. Graeme Sawyer
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