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Australian scientists to train wildlife to avoid poisonous toads

posted 26 Nov 2012, 07:49 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 26 Nov 2012, 07:49 ]

Next Media - Scientists in Australia have developed a special bait to prevent native wildlife from dying after eating cane toads. Cane toads are poisonous amphibians introduced to Australia to control beetles in the 1930s. However, native Australian animals including dingos, blue-tongue lizards, goannas and northern quolls prey on them, getting sick or dying from the poison. To train wildlife to avoid cane toads, scientist David Pearson and his team made sausage baits from the less poisonous parts of cane toads, and added a harmless but nausea-inducing salt.

The team’s cameras, set up in the Australia’s Kimberley region, captured evidence that some wild animals had been successfully trained to avoid toads in the wild, due to the association of toad meat with the sickening effect of the salt.


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