BBC Home
Explore the BBC



Last Updated: Monday February 07 2005 21:55 GMT

Australia hunts down toxic toads

Cane Toad
Officials in Australia have launched a competition to find the best way to stop toxic toads from taking over.

The very poisonous cane toad is now one of Australia's most dangerous pests - so full of lethal chemicals it can kill a kangaroo.

They were brought over to Australia from Hawaii around 70 years ago to stop the spread of cane beetles.

But now they're out of control and breeding so fast there are over 100 million of them. And they're spreading.

Australian authorities are now so desperate to stop the toads spreading that they're offering a cash prize for someone to find the best way to round them up.

Inventor Andrew Arthur believes his toad blaster - a battery-powered loudspeaker system which imitates the sound of a toad - is the answer to this environmental crisis.

"This call comes out, the toads would think... oh, this toad has got a great place to breed, let's go there," he said.

As they moved towards the area the toads could then be trapped, he added.

BBC Homepage >> | CBBC Homepage >>

Meet the Team | Help | Contact Us | News sources | Privacy & Cookies Policy