Sunday, February 28, 2010


Frogs are best known for the food value their thigh portion has and frozen frog leg export is a significant part of global food business. But in Australia a different problem exists vis-à-vis frogs called cane toads transplanted from Hawaii to tackle the uncontrolled growth of sugar cane beetle. To day these toads have become an environmental disaster literally destroying many native species through the poison emitted by them affecting the heart of the predators. If a new finding that meat ants can kill these toads when they emerge from ponds near the sugar cane fields can be translated into organized anti-toad campaigns, there is a possibility of controlling their population without resorting to other physical and chemical methods of annihilation.

"Researchers with the University of Sydney found that a few tablespoons of cat food left next to ponds in the Northern Territory attracts fierce Australian meat ants, which then attack baby cane toads as they emerge from the water. The results of the study were published in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Applied Ecology this week. It is the latest weapon in Australia's seemingly endless battle against the cane toad, which was introduced from Hawaii in 1935 in an unsuccessful attempt to control beetles on sugarcane plantations. The toads bred rapidly, and their millions-strong population now threatens many species across Australia".


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