Cat Food is an ally in trying to wipe out the cane toads in Australia

February 22nd, 2010 - 8:40 pm ICT by Aishwarya Bhatt  

Cane Toad Sydney, Feb 22 (THAINDIAN NEWS) Australians have been trying to fight the cane toad problem for years, and the latest weapon in their kitty is now cat food. Cane toads were introduced in Australia from Hawaii in 1935, as they were thought to be a weapon against controlling the beetles, that were affecting the sugar cane plantations. But instead the toads multiplied quickly, and were their numbers soon swelled into millions. They are a huge nuisance all over Australia, as they threaten the livelihood of other species.

Now researchers at the University of Sydney have devised a novel way to fight the cane toad problem. They place a few tablespoons of cat food near ponds, which attracts the meat ants. And the meat ants attract the cane toads, and they come to the surface of the water. Then the ferocious meat ants attack the cane toads. As the cane toad is said to be an ideal food for the ferocious and the hungry meat ants.

Rick Shine, a professor at the University of Sydney said that, “It’s a pretty unequal fight.” As the baby toads are very small, as they are less than a half-inch in size, but they are also about the same size as the meat ant. Yet, the aggressive and the ferocious meat ants have very powerful jaws, and they are capable of killing even animals larger than themselves, by attacking in numbers. “The toads have this terribly stupid response to attack — which is just to freeze and do nothing,” he said.

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