Feeds

Oz military to battle cane toads

Last-ditch defence of Darwin

Build a business case: developing custom apps

An Australian environmental group has asked the military to intervene in a last-ditch attempt to stop the inexorable advance of the cane toad on Darwin, Reuters reports.

The introduction of the cane toad to Oz in 1935 - designed to combat native cane beetles - provoked an environmental disaster. Their numbers have rocketed to an estimated 200 million dedicated to the destruction of local fauna including snakes, goanna lizards and quolls (cat-sized marsupial).

During their stay in the Lucky Country, cane toads have evolved longer legs to speed their progress. They now spread at around 40km per year, and have since 1935 advanced 3,000 km from Northern Queensland to threaten Darwin in the north.

FrogWatch spokesman Ian Morris told Australian radio: "We need as many people on the ground as we can possibly get, and if the military can work out strategies for controlling toads on their ground, well that's fine with us."

FrogWatch has been fighting a desperate battle to keep the cane toad from Darwin, enlisting local residents who participate in "Toad Busts" by trapping the animals in plastic bags "in a bid to slow their steady march westwards".

Frog Watch's Graham Sawyer explained: "It's still early enough. We're not going to stop every single cane toad from getting in to Darwin, but what we'll do is get rid of them all as they arrive, and stop that build-up of toads."

Quite what the military's role might be is anyone's guess, but we suspect it might require action such as that in the original film version of War of the Worlds, involving flying-wing aircraft and nuclear warheads. Sadly, we suspect that as the dust clears observers will be subjected to the chilling sight of the cane toad emerging unharmed from the blast zone.

Other suggestions as to how to deal with the cane toad menace have entertainingly included a toad-busting audio killing machine, which "broadcasts the cane toad breeding call, thereby luring the little blighters to their deaths". ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.