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What is a Cane Toad?

The Main Characteristics of a Toad

According to the Kimberley Toad Busters Cane Toads are a few weeks – even days away from Fitzroy Crossing (WA) and have nearly made it to the west coast of Australia with their arrival in Derby and the beach-side tourist town of Broome expected to be invaded by the end of the year. Dylan Storer spoke with Lee from the Kimberley Toad Busters earlier this week, have a listen here.

Cane toads are expected to be in Broome by the end of the year, if lucky next year.

Cane Toads are expected to be in Broome by the end of the year, if lucky next year.

What are Cane Toads?

Cane Toads were introduced in the 1940’s in Queensland to eat the crop destroying cane beetle. The government at the time didn’t think it through that much as the toads couldn’t jump to the top of the sugar cane to eat the beetle. So the Cane Toads go bored and started a long battle across the vast expanse of this country we call Australia.

What do Cane Toads look like?

This is a native frog:

A Native Burrowing Frog

This is a Cane Toad:

An Invasive Cane Toad

This Little Ugly Thing is a Cane Toad

Some people get confused with Cane Toads and native frogs. There are a few differences that should split them apart: Adult cane toads are usually very large – around 9-15 cm (or 3.5 to 5 inches) long. If you find one over 4 cm long, you should be able to identify it from the picture below.

However, smaller toads can easily be confused with native frogs. To make sure you don’t kill a native frog by mistake, please take all toads under 4 cm long to a frog expert for identification. If handling them, use rubber gloves. You can phone up Kimberley Toad Busters or the Department of Parks and Wildlife in your respective state.

The Main Characteristics of a Toad

The Main Characteristics of a Toad

They also have a distinctive call they make usually during the night. If you hear this Cane Toads are in your area:

They are the main differences between cane toads and Native frogs. Remember if you come across a cane toad the most humane way to euthanize it is to put it in the Freezer for 24hrs then bury them. Apparently they make great fertiliser.


This article is from the Envirence Radio Show, Tune into the Program on Thursday 3 – 4pm on SYN Nation. Like and Follow us on Facebook & Twitter.

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