Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

Search This Blog



In between each episode of OTT, we now present OTTXtra. Here are the last three episodes:


Click on this logo to find out more about helping CFZtv and getting some smashing rewards...


Unlike some of our competitors we are not going to try and blackmail you into donating by saying that we won't continue if you don't. That would just be vulgar, but our lives, and those of the animals which we look after, would be a damn sight easier if we receive more donations to our fighting fund. Donate via Paypal today...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

FROM HERPDIGEST: Can we use the tadpoles of Australian frogs to reduce recruitment of invasive cane toads?

Can we use the tadpoles of Australian frogs to reduce recruitment of invasive cane toads?
Elisa Cabrera-Guzmán, Michael Crossland, Richard Shine
Article first published online: 12/23/10, Journal of Applied Ecology
How to Cite
Cabrera-Guzmán, E., Crossland, M. and Shine, R. , Can we use the tadpoles of Australian frogs to reduce recruitment of invasive cane toads?. Journal of Applied Ecology, no. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2010.01933.x
Author Information
School of Biological Sciences A08, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
*Correspondence: Richard Shine,
*Correspondence: Correspondence author. E-mail: rick.shine@sydney.edu.au

1. Native to the Americas, cane toads Bufo marinus are an invasive species causing substantial ecological impacts in Australia. We need ways to control invasive species such as cane toads without collateral damage to native fauna.

2. We explored the feasibility of suppressing survival and growth of cane toad tadpoles via competition with the tadpoles of native frogs. Compared to the invasive toads, many native frogs breed earlier in the season and their tadpoles grow larger and have longer larval periods. Hence, adding spawn or tadpoles of native frogs to toad-breeding sites might increase tadpole competition, and thereby reduce toad recruitment.

3. Our laboratory trials using tadpoles of eight native frog species gave significant results: the presence of six of these species (Cyclorana australis, C. longipes, Litoria caerulea, L. dahlii, L. rothii and L. splendida) reduced toad tadpole survival and/or size at metamorphosis. Litoria caerulea also increased the duration of the larval period of cane toad tadpoles. Tadpoles of the other two frog species (Litoria rubella and Litoria tornieri) did not affect survival or growth of larval cane toads any more than did an equivalent number of additional toad tadpoles. Native frog species with larger tadpoles exerted greater negative effects on toad tadpoles than did native species with smaller tadpoles.

4.Synthesis and applications. Encouraging the general public to construct and restore waterbodies in peri-urban areas to build up populations of native frogs - especially the much-loved green tree frog Litoria caerulea- could help to reduce recruitment rates of invasive cane toads in Australia.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Might it not be an interesting experiment to first of all try to breed Cane Toads which are extremely low in bufotoxin, then use these artificially disarmed toads to breed variants of species native to the area of Australia affected by Cane Toads which are much less susceptible to Cane Toad bufotoxins?

All that we'd be doing here is giving natural selection a leg up, so as to speak; I absolutely will not countenance the idea of introducing a non-native species to combat Cane Toads, but selectively breeding a native to try to impact them is probably quite a good idea.

The ecological effect here would be fairly predictable; the population of the Cane Toad predator would explode as they would be exploiting a food source unavailable to most other animals in Australia, then would settle back down as the Cane Toads were reduced to non-plague proportions.