An Australian businessman has come up with a rather brilliant way of tackling the country's cane toad plague: sell the amphibious pest to the Chinese. While it's not well regarded in the Lucky Country, the cane toad (Bufo marinus) is "a popular ingredient in a range of traditional medicines in China", the BBC explains. Its …
But how does he catch them all if they're spread far and wide across the huge isle of Australand? Traditional harvesting markets rely on farms, rows and rows of the particular 'product', be it plant or animal, right next to each other.
I'd presume its a combination of an active collection regime - good old fashioned legwork, plus paying people, for instance farmers, to retrieve them all from their private land.
Still, seems far too much hard work - we're talking over 7.6 million square kilometres of the place to cover here (aint google grand!?) minus areas where they're known to not hang out.
He's got his work cut out for him.
Catching them? Way too easy.
"But how does he catch them all if they're spread far and wide across the huge isle of Australand? Traditional harvesting markets rely on farms, rows and rows of the particular 'product', be it plant or animal, right next to each other."
On a wet night here the roads are literally covered in them. Cars have lights, light attracts insects, toads like insects...you get the picture. Grab yourself a litter picker and a bin bag and you're ready to rock.
While toads are usually thought of as a fatal snack for all other animals this is changing. I've seen kookaburras pull them out of my billabong, flip them over and then neatly slice open the belly. Somehow the kookies have learned that this is a safe way to dine. Ain't evolution wonderful?
Not just the Kookies
Ive had plenty of reports of Magpies and Crows doing this too... Not suprising considering that Crows and Pies are the top of the intelligence ladder for birds.. Didnt know about the Kookaburras but good to hear!
Come on evolution!
I doubt that that's evolution at work, it's more likely cultural inheritance. No less impressive for that though.
Grown longer legs to arrive at Darwin?
He would have been proud!
Yes, the one with 'Origin of Species' in the pocket, thanks.
If they could catch them
They wouldn't have a problem, they'd have wiped them out already.
The worry about going after them commercially is that some bright spark will farm them, and more will then escape.
"cane toad exports" sounds like "child porn"*, so the govt will prevent access to, knowledge of, or debate on the subject.
*more so than "dentist" does, anyways...
reminds me of Discworld
"Tax the rat farms" -- there'll just be cane-toad farms, it's much easier to farm the little feckers than it would be to track them down and capture them
You've never been to Queensland!
All this guy will need to do is go to the various Toad fences seperating Queensland from New South Wales and he'll be able to collect hundreds of the buggers every night. The only danger will be watching out for the ones flying back over the fence from some New Souther playing Toad golf...
look on the bright side of life, la la, la la la la la la etc.
Didn't they learn...
@DLZ: Oh, you mean learn to isolate and produce virus toxins which they then spray indiscriminately about to slaughter fuzzy bunnies by the truckload? I'm guessing there isn't an analogous highly-communicable fatal disease that affects the little buggers.
Toad Oil Salesmen
This species may indeed be a pest, but the Chinese obsession with worthless "traditional medicines" of dubious to no scientific value has run many others needlessly to the brink of extinction. Don't encourage them.
5,000 Years. Too early ro say?
Chinese Medicine has 5,000 years of real world analysis your really happy to dismiss it with a dubious to no scientific value. No doubt you think some new medicine rushed through a shiny laboratory in the west has immense scientific weight in comparison.
Given the huge population, comparatively poor nutrition and health and safety in the workplace I would of thought the high life expectancy said something about traditional medicine.
Sell them to the French
Just tell them they're frog legs....and that they taste like chicken.....
Is a wonderful pastime. The real secret lies in the club selection.
A driver (or 1 wood if you prefer) will give you an impressive impact, but no loft, the toad just skittle around the ground.
Something around the 5 iron works best, giving the best compromise between distance and loft.
A 9 iron or wedge is good for slicing them in half and leaving toad entrails everywhere, and is best reserved for the yard of somebody you don't like.
/beer, for Australia day yesterday.
Toad golf - Australian Open
I x 3 iron
6 x cold beers (not necessary, but you know..)
Size up the shot
Swing - whaaaaaammmooo!
Watch Mr Toad fly...
Repeat with next victim.
Re: Toad golf....
Indeed, hilarious! Time for a visit to OZ, methinks...
So cane toads have recently learned to hitch rides on trucks. Well that just shows how Australian they have become.