Big Toadie Blooper

Submitted: Monday, Jan 28, 2008 at 10:26
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For those of you who get to remote places wonder where the snakes etc are, or those who reckon science has all the answers... Here's a nice little quote for the Aus Day weekend.

“To others who … suggest the possibility that the toad will, in turn, itself become a pest, we can point to the fact that nearly 100 years have elapsed since it was first introduced into Barbados, and there it has no black marks against its character. Experience with it in other West Indian islands and in Hawaii certainly points to the fact that no serious harm is likely to eventuate through its introduction into Queensland”

R W Mungomery upon returning to Australia from Hawaii with 101 toads in 1935

Yep we're just a tad fallible - even the one's who claim to know.

Cheers

Chris
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Reply By: Member - Mike DID - Monday, Jan 28, 2008 at 13:37

Monday, Jan 28, 2008 at 13:37
. . . . and have a vested interest in the decision !
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Follow Up By: Member - Chris R (NSW) - Monday, Jan 28, 2008 at 15:13

Monday, Jan 28, 2008 at 15:13
Spot on Mike. You can go a bit further with this one and note that Reginald Mungomery's formal training seems to have been in metallurgy and mining. He 'picked up' bio knowlege on his various jobs.

A keen amateur in a position to exercise power? Not sure. Perhaps he wanted to be the first arrive at a solution? At the time there were other ideas afoot.

Nevertheless, I wonder whether all such introductions - seemingly good or bad - should bear the introducers' name. Eg 'Mungomery's Toad' perhaps might have had him researching other viable alternatives with greater passion.

Cheers
Chris
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Reply By: The Rambler( W.A.) - Monday, Jan 28, 2008 at 14:17

Monday, Jan 28, 2008 at 14:17
Yes it is something to think about.I come from Trinidad in the West Indies where there is a very large population of cane toads and also probably more wildlife than Australia with no adverse effects from the cane toad.It is my opinion that over a relatively short time all the "hype" about cane toads here will be forgotten.It is interestring that on my last trip last year I met a volunteer cane toad researcher in the N.T. who told me that they had started to change their views on the cane toad problem as they were seeing evidence of wildlife adapting to the presense of the toad.There will always be different views on any introduced species but time will tell.
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Follow Up By: Steve from Top End Explorer Tours - Monday, Jan 28, 2008 at 14:48

Monday, Jan 28, 2008 at 14:48
10 years ago I could dive down any road in Kakadu and find snakes, I could find a Goanna in all the camp grounds and at any camp ground at night find Native quolls and alike.

I haven't seen a Goanna in 8 years you may find a snake once a month and try and find a quoll or alike in a camp ground, there have been over 2 hundred fresh water Crocs killed in Katerine gorge as well.

No adverse effects at all, yeah right

Steve.
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Follow Up By: Member - Chris R (NSW) - Monday, Jan 28, 2008 at 14:59

Monday, Jan 28, 2008 at 14:59
HI Rambler,

I've seen this argument before and support its general systems view. But it is faulted - particularly from the victims' point of view: they're dead.

More vulnerable species, less able to adapt than the rapidly adapting cane toad, will go to extinction - or arrive at numbers that do not allow them to survive other natural events. This too is part of the systems view.

Whichever way we think about it, we see with the benefit of hindsight that our simple act had unintended consequences in the natural system far outweighing any projected benefit to us.

Best regards

Chris
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Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Yalgoo) - Monday, Jan 28, 2008 at 23:29

Monday, Jan 28, 2008 at 23:29
No Animal has been made extinct by the introduction of toads
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Follow Up By: Member - Chris R (NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 29, 2008 at 08:17

Tuesday, Jan 29, 2008 at 08:17
Life is rarely so simple Davoe. We cannot assign an extinction to a single cause. Causes combine. Land clearance, diseases, cane toads, people, climate... But cane toads are another factor of our doing. They help the process.

The 'no extinctions' argument is dreadfully narrow.

Think about abundance - would it not be a more enjoyable Australian environment to see and hear and wonder at our Aus natives rather than live in a silent bush by day and hear the chirrup of toads by night?

Cheers

Chris
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Reply By: Bware (Tweed Valley) - Monday, Jan 28, 2008 at 16:45

Monday, Jan 28, 2008 at 16:45
Hi Chris,

They never learn either. Dept of Primary Industries want to introduce a Sth American fly to combat lantana. Here's a link to the story 'if all goes well....' It 'should' work LOL

Maybe when the flies get out of control the cane toads will eat them?
AnswerID: 284118

Follow Up By: Steve from Top End Explorer Tours - Monday, Jan 28, 2008 at 16:48

Monday, Jan 28, 2008 at 16:48
Hey Bware

Australia is the world leader in introducing a species to get rid of an introduced species.

Cheers Steve.
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Follow Up By: Bware (Tweed Valley) - Monday, Jan 28, 2008 at 17:00

Monday, Jan 28, 2008 at 17:00
LOL Steve, we are the best at everything we do; even the stupid things.
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Follow Up By: Member - Chris R (NSW) - Monday, Jan 28, 2008 at 17:44

Monday, Jan 28, 2008 at 17:44
Important point is that these are often very committed and very able people - and within their ranks, there are reps of both camps. Problem is sometimes govt and others want answers TODAY and have money and interest today.

So the arguments that win are not so much a scientific win as they are a 'win' of politics.

These money and influence are pretty strong arguments against the nebulous 'but it will morph and impact in unknown ways' argument.

Ah well...

Cheers
Chris
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Reply By: T-Ribby - Tuesday, Jan 29, 2008 at 19:08

Tuesday, Jan 29, 2008 at 19:08
It seems that some snakes are slow learners when it comes to eating the poisonous toad - eg the red belly black snake. These snakes apparently prey on young eastern browns, so the browns may be increasing while the RBB's are decreasing - I know which one I'd prefer around !. Perhaps someone living around Byron Bay in NSW could comment on the increase in brown numbers down there.
OT. Lake Borumba in from Imbil (Qld) has gained a lot of water and the fishing should be
brill now the crowds have gone. The camping ground there is grassy, cool and a good swim can be had in the lagoon.

cheers
T.R.
AnswerID: 284351

Follow Up By: Trevor R (QLD) - Sunday, Feb 10, 2008 at 11:18

Sunday, Feb 10, 2008 at 11:18
Just seen your response here T.R, is there a waterhole at the back of Lake Borumba campground where you can swim?
i have always stayed back at the Deer Park.

Thanks Trevor.
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Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Sunday, Feb 10, 2008 at 12:57

Sunday, Feb 10, 2008 at 12:57
Excuse my ignorance on all things Cane Toad but why did R W Mungomery think we needed Cane Toads in Australia in the first place?
What benefit were they supposed to be?
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Follow Up By: equinox - Sunday, Feb 10, 2008 at 13:03

Sunday, Feb 10, 2008 at 13:03
I'm not sure but I think his decendants should say sorry.
Looking for adventure.
In whatever comes our way.

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Follow Up By: Member -Steve.NT - Sunday, Feb 10, 2008 at 13:04

Sunday, Feb 10, 2008 at 13:04
They were introduced to get rid of the cane beetle, but as the cane beetle came out at day time and lived in the top of the cane, and the toad comes out at night time and can't fly, It was domed before it started.

Cheers Steve.
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Sunday, Feb 10, 2008 at 13:24

Sunday, Feb 10, 2008 at 13:24
equinox your right a sorry from his descendent's would certainly be in order.
Perhaps they could forward it to Parliament house, Att - The Right Honorable PM Mr Kevin Dudd and ask that he say it on their behalf on Tuesday when Parliament sits, that way he gets one more sorry out of the way at the same time as the rest of them.

Steve certainly seems to have been an issue sadly lacking thought.
Maybe they were planning to develop short sugar cane so the toad could reach??
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