Australian park rangers discover record-breaking cane toad

The species was introduced to the state of Queensland in 1935 to control the sugar cane beetle, a pest of sugar cane plantations.

The amphibian — often brown and covered in large warts — can grow up to 26 centimeters (10.2 in) and weigh up to 2.5 kilograms (5.5 pounds), though the department said cane toads of this size are rare.

Cane toads like this are considered a threat to biodiversity. They can quickly colonize habitats, as female cane toads can produce up to 30,000 eggs in a season, it said.

They can also be “deadly poisonous to wildlife,” according to the statement.

Because there is no method of control or biological control to deal with cane toads without harming native species, they must be laboriously collected and disposed of by hand, according to the New South Wales Environment and Heritage Group, which oversees the Australian state of New South Wales, where sugar cane toads are also proliferating.

The cane toad has been linked to the decline and extinction of several of its predators, including the northern quoll — also known as the North Australian native cat — which the group says is now endangered in northern Australia.

But Toadzilla’s legacy will live on – authorities said the body has been donated to the Queensland Museum for research.

CORRECTION (January 20, 2023, 8:15 a.m. ET): An earlier version of this article and a headline misrepresented when Toadzilla was discovered. It was January 12, not January 19. The article also misspelled part of the name of a native species. It’s the northern quoll, not quall.

Leave a Comment