Science Diary: Frogs – Toad Muster

music; ambience: Cane Toads

“Tonight we’re staging a Cane Toad roundup a Cane Toad muster, as they call it here. The aim of the toad muster is to try and exterminate the last of the exotic Cane Toads from the area.”

Arthur White is a frog researcher, who has joined the residents of Port Macquarie in southeastern Australia, to take part in a roundup of Cane Toads. They’re a poisonous and invasive species whose toxic skin kills birds of prey, snakes, mammals, and other would-be predators. Welcome to Pulse of the Planet’s Science Diaries, a glimpse of the world of science from the inside.

“Cane Toads first arrived in Port Macquarie about ten years ago, and they very quickly increased in numbers. And so, these Cane Toad roundups, or musters, were commenced. When they first began, hundreds of Cane Toads were being collected but as the years went on, the number of Cane Toads being collected went down. Last year only two Cane Toads were found as a result of the muster. And so, this year the organizers are hoping to really get rid of the last of the stragglers.”

And how do you locate a Cane Toad?

“The organizers have decided to employ a most unusual method. They have contacted wildlife officials in northern Australia who use Cane Toad sniffer dogs. And so, one of the dogs and dog handlers has come down from Northern Australia to join us here in Port Macquarie, and for the last four days the dog and dog handler have been walking all around the bush land areas around Port Macquarie watching to see how Nifty, the sniffer dog, reacts.”

Once Nifty sniffs out likely hiding places, the teams of volunteers are dispatched to collect the poisonous toads. Please visit our website, pulseplanet.com. Pulse of the Planet’s Science Diaries are made possible by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

music

Science Diary: Frogs - Toad Muster

In Australia, Cane Toads are an invasive species whose toxic skin kills would-be predators. One community is striking back with the help of a toad-sniffing canine.
Air Date:03/02/2012
Scientist:
Transcript:

music; ambience: Cane Toads

"Tonight we're staging a Cane Toad roundup a Cane Toad muster, as they call it here. The aim of the toad muster is to try and exterminate the last of the exotic Cane Toads from the area."

Arthur White is a frog researcher, who has joined the residents of Port Macquarie in southeastern Australia, to take part in a roundup of Cane Toads. They're a poisonous and invasive species whose toxic skin kills birds of prey, snakes, mammals, and other would-be predators. Welcome to Pulse of the Planet's Science Diaries, a glimpse of the world of science from the inside.

"Cane Toads first arrived in Port Macquarie about ten years ago, and they very quickly increased in numbers. And so, these Cane Toad roundups, or musters, were commenced. When they first began, hundreds of Cane Toads were being collected but as the years went on, the number of Cane Toads being collected went down. Last year only two Cane Toads were found as a result of the muster. And so, this year the organizers are hoping to really get rid of the last of the stragglers."

And how do you locate a Cane Toad?

"The organizers have decided to employ a most unusual method. They have contacted wildlife officials in northern Australia who use Cane Toad sniffer dogs. And so, one of the dogs and dog handlers has come down from Northern Australia to join us here in Port Macquarie, and for the last four days the dog and dog handler have been walking all around the bush land areas around Port Macquarie watching to see how Nifty, the sniffer dog, reacts."

Once Nifty sniffs out likely hiding places, the teams of volunteers are dispatched to collect the poisonous toads. Please visit our website, pulseplanet.com. Pulse of the Planet's Science Diaries are made possible by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.

music