Feeds

Oz military to battle cane toads

Last-ditch defence of Darwin

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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". ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.