Planet Earth

The Humane Way to Kill Invasive Cane Toads: Skull Smashing?

DiscoblogBy Brett IsraelJan 8, 2010 6:00 PM

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Australia has a cane toad problem. The little leapers are devastating the Aussie ecosystem (Australia has no native toads). They're gobbling up native insects and poising any animal that attempts to prey on them. One group thought they had a humane way to stop the toads' spread—suffocate captured toads by putting them in bags filled with carbon dioxide. But now government officials are saying "not so fast," and have declared that kill method inhumane. From The Scientist:

The Kimberley Toad Busters (KTB) have been using carbon dioxide exposure to euthanize the toads for five years, successfully eliminating more than half a million pests. But last year, after the cane toad populations made their way into Western Australia (WA), the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) -- a department of the WA government -- announced that they would not support the use of CO2 until further trials had been done, leaving the KTB nearly weaponless against the rapidly spreading invasion just as the first major wet season rains are starting to fall.

So what does the DEC suggest as a humane way to kill the invasive toads? The agency requests that the Toad Busters use blunt trauma for brain destruction. Guess it's time for the Toad Busters to break out their whacking sticks. Related Content: Discoblog: Some Animals Need to be More Endangered Discoblog: Crocs Chow Down on Invasive Toads, Instantly Regret It Discoblog: To Fight Croc-Killing Toads, Australians Turn to “Cane Toad Golf”Image: flickr / Sam Fraser-Smith

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