Australian volunteers take part in cane toad cull

Cane toad Cane toads secrete a toxin that kills predators not adapted to eat them

Related Stories

Thousands of volunteers in Australia are taking part in a massive cull of cane toads.

The animals - regarded as poisonous pests - were introduced to Australia 75 years ago to get rid of beetles.

It is now thought their numbers have swelled to 200m, and there are signs they may have started spreading from Queensland down into New South Wales.

Our correspondent says most people in Australia regard the creatures as nothing other than a growing nuisance.

Queensland politician Shane Knuth told the BBC that the cull is justified.

"They're one of the most destructive creatures and the most disgusting creatures and one thing they're doing is they're killing our native wildlife and they're taking over our habitat," he said.

The toads were introduced into Queensland in the 1930s to kill beetles but the experiment failed, and their numbers have grown because there are almost no natural predators which can kill them off.

Some experts believe climate change may help account for their unstoppable migration south.

Scientific attempts to exterminate them have all but failed, leaving it to volunteers to try to dent their relentless takeover of the australian countryside, our correspondent says.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Asia stories

RSS

Features

  • A painting of the White House on fire by Tom FreemanFinders keepers

    The odd objects looted by the British from Washington in 1814


  • Chris and Regina Catrambone with their daughter Maria LuisaSOS

    The millionaires who rescue people at sea


  • Plane7 days quiz

    What unusual offence got a Frenchman thrown off a plane?


  • Children testing a bridge at a model-making summer school in Crawley, West SussexSeeding science Watch

    The retired professor who turned village children into engineers


  • Krouwa Erick, the doctor in Sipilou town at the border of Ivory Coast and Guinea - 27 August 2014Bad trip

    The Ebola journey no-one in Ivory Coast wants to take


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.