Toxic Toads Wiping Out Aussie Crocs

Freshwater crocodiles munch on invaders with fatal results
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2008 1:53 AM CST

(Newser) – Poisonous cane toads are proving more than a match for Australia's freshwater crocodiles, AFP reports. The toads are hopping their way into the crocs' northern Australia territory in huge numbers, killing off all who opt to make a meal of the invaders. Toad poisoning has already cut the numbers of crocodiles in some rivers by half.

"Populations can't really withstand that year-after-year high mortality," a scientist warned. "Particularly in these really long-lived species that take a long time to mature before they are reproductive." The toads were introduced to Queensland in 1935 to eat pests, but rapidly became pests themselves. All efforts to halt their relentless advance throughout Australia have failed.