Sunday, April 01, 2007

Big Frogs

Here is one for all the amphibian fans, including Blognonymous (Kvatch) the blog frog.

A conservation group has captured a giant cane toad in the Darwin, the capital of Australia's far north.

The critter weighed in at 840 grams (1.8 pounds) and measured 20.5 cm (8 inches).

These ugly toads were introduced from Hawaii in 1935 at the urging of sugar cane growers in Queensland who were suffering from an infestation of crop-damaging beetles. The cane road rapidly established itself as one of the most costly alien invasive species in the history of Australia.

I first saw sugar cane fields recently as I came down to Port Macquarie from Queensland. I've done the trip before, but at night, so this time I actually saw a bit of landscape.

I had also seen a number of the toads some years back in southern Queensland. They are ugly, and invasive.

I'm not really sure how far ‘Port' is from the cane areas, but 500 miles sounds fair. The toads are now moving into areas around Port, but more troubling is that they have reached as far as Darwin.

This giant one is a male, which makes it doubly interesting. Usually the males are far smaller than the females. But the amount of native wildlife it devoured to reach that size has researchers concerned.

Poster

I'm trying to get hold of a poster of frogs native to the Murray-Darling river system. They are not all as pig ugly as the above toad. But most of them are becoming threatened as the river system dries out.

In fact I did find the poster on line at: The frogs.org.au Store I guess that screws any chance of me doing a bulk purchase and making a profit.

1 comment:

Kvatch said...

Yow! 1.8 pounds? That's one fat frog. ;-)