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Cane toads killing crocs

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Cane toads killing crocs

Post by shammy on Thu Jun 05, 2008 9:37 am

HUNDREDS of dogs and cats have been sent to animal heaven by cane toads, but until now we never had proof toads were croc killers.

Now, scientists have found what they are calling the 'smoking gun', which pins them as the culprit.

The introduced pest has cut a swathe through a population of northern Australia's freshwater crocodiles, as well as causing the decline of native animals such as goannas and quolls for years.

They have been suspected to be fatal to crocs -- but scientists had never been able to find proof -- until now.

University of Sydney biologist Dr Mike Letnic, who had studied freshwater crocodile numbers in the Roper River, returned last year to find up to a 75percent reduction in the reptiles.

Dr Letnic, who will be presenting his research at the 14th Australasian Vertebrate Pest Conference in Darwin next week, described the sight that met him last year as a "smoking gun'' -- proof that toads were to blame for the croc deaths.

http://www.ntnews.com.au/article/2008/06/05/4301_ntnews.html

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