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Posted Wed Jun 9 2010: from BBC:
Cane toad threat spreads beyond Australia to Caribbean
Cane toads, one of the world's most destructive invasive species, have started killing native wildlife outside of Australia. Cane toads are poisonous, secreting a toxin that kills predators not adapted to eat them, and as a result the toads have caused a decline in native Australian reptiles and marsupials. Now scientists have discovered that the toads are also killing boa snakes in the West Indies, suggesting that other predators in the Caribbean and elsewhere may also be at risk.... In the early to mid 19th Century, the toad was intentionally introduced to islands in the Caribbean, including Jamaica in 1844, and then through the South Pacific. The toad was introduced to eat and control pests of sugar cane, including rats and beetles. However, the toad has had a destructive impact in many places where it has spread, out-competing native species.... Now scientists have documented the cane toad killing rare native fauna in the Caribbean.
[Read more stories about: invasive species, predator depletion, unintended consequences]
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