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article imageDeadly Asian toad settles in Madagascar

By Ryan Hite     May 30, 2014 in Environment
A group of scientists has urged the Madagascan government to take up arms against the Asian common toad, which is a poisonous relative of the infamous cane toad that has now gained a foothold on the island.
A group of scientists has urged the government of Madagascar to take go to war against the Asian common toad, a poisonous relative of the infamous cane toad which has gained a foothold on the island.
In a letter to Nature magazine, Jonathan Kolby of James Cook University, together with 11 other scientists, warn that Madagascar is facing an ecological disaster if it doesn't act to curtail the incursion.
According to the BBC, the first of many sightings of the Asian common toad came back in March. The creature probably launched an assault on the island via shipping containers from South East Asia.
He stated that "It's worrying because Madagascar has amazing endemic biodiversity - plants, animals and amphibians that are found nowhere else. And this one species has the propensity to damage that."
The Asian cane toad poses two threats. It's poisonous and it might spread the chytrid fungus.
It remains to be seen if Duttaphrynus melanostictus wrecks the same havoc in Madagscar as the cane toad has done Down Under years ago.
Introduced to Northern Queensland from Hawaii in 1935 in an attempt to combat native cane beetles, the toad has hopped 3,000km across the country, swelling in numbers to over 200 million and making short work of local snakes, lizards, and other animals.
Kolby and his colleagues insist swift action is required to prevent Madagascar suffering a similar toadocalypse. "The question is, can we still eradicate them? Have we caught it soon enough that eradication could be a feasible option? Obviously we all hope the answer is yes," he concluded.
More about Madagascar, asian toad, Parasite, Cane toad
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