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Toads causing concern in Madagascar, Report
Toads causing concern in Madagascar, Report

Toads causing concern in Madagascar, Report

Madagascar’s unique wildlife is under threat from an invasion of toxic toads, scientists have warned.

In a letter to Nature, Jonathan Kolby of Oz’s James Cook University, together with 11 other researchers, warn that Madagascar is facing an “ecological disaster” if it doesn’t act to curtail the incursion.

According to the BBC, the first of several sightings of the Asian common toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus) came back in March. It’s suspected that the creature probably launched an amphibious assault on the island via shipping containers from South East Asia.

Kolby said: “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. The latter menace (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) has already done serious damage to amphibian populations in Australia and Central and South America, and a few years back arrived in the UK.

Agencies/Canadajournal




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