Tuesday, March 27, 2007

'Toadzilla' Caught In "Breeding Frenzy"

It weighs almost a kilo and was described as being "the size of a small dog." This is one of the largest cane toads ever found in Australia. A volunteer group called 'Toadwatch' picked it up during what was described as a cane toad "breeding frenzy" in the Northern Territory.

'Toadwatch' night patrols see groups of locals hunting down the cane toads and destroying them, as they fight a front line war against the invasion.

So far they've had some great successes, and while it may be all but impossible to completely eliminate the toads, the volunteers, including mums and dads and kids armed with torches, plastic bags and heavy gloves, have managed to keep the toads out of a number of pristine environments.

From the Sydney Morning Herald :

The 861-gram monster male is the largest to be caught anywhere in the Northern Territory, according to environmental group FrogWatch.

The warty pest was picked up by local volunteers during a community toad bust at Lee Point last night.

Measuring 20.5cm in length, the colossal male was one of 39 toads caught in the middle of "a breeding frenzy", said FrogWatch coordinator Graeme Sawyer.

He said NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) ToadBusts were finding low numbers of toads in the city, except for Lee Point and the Coastal Reserve.

First released in Queensland, cane toads have since multiplied and marched across Australia, poisoning millions of native animals, including crocodiles in World Heritage-listed Kakadu.

If you're a creature that can poison crocodiles, then you are extremely dangerous.

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