Cane Toads: Background Facts for an Environmental Lesson Plan for ESL Learners
Cane toads are not a native species in Australia. They were introduced in the 1930's from South America to try and deal with the cane beetle, which was in turn causing problems for the sugar cane industry. They failed to do their job with the beetle, but they have instead done an extremely good job of negatively affecting many different types of Australian wildlife through vast sections of the country.
Cane toads are a major problem because, being an introduced species, they have no natural predators to keep their numbers under control. They have a highly toxic poison which is generally fatal to animals which eat them. They breed quickly, and can easily out compete many native species of frogs.
The toads are continuing to spread from Queensland, where they were first introduced, westwards across the Northern Territory as well as south into New South Wales. Their rate of travel varies, but in the Northern Territory it is around 30 to 50 kilometers per year.
toad, frog, pest, native, introduced, species
- What is the average rate of travel of the cane toads across Australia?
- Are cane toads native to Australia?
- When were the cane toads introduced to Australia?
- From which country were they introduced?