A gigantic frog in a strange land: the impact, evolution and control of invasive cane toads (#143)
In 1935, 101 cane toads travelled from Hawaii to Australia in a first-class cabin on the liner Mariposa. 80 years later, millions of descendants of those pioneer toads have spread across Australia. The toad invasion has been a catastrophe for some species of native wildlife, and a boon for others. The toads themselves have changed dramatically, such that invasion-front individuals in Western Australia are very different in size, shape, physiology and behaviour – even, personality – from their cousins in Queensland. In this public lecture, I will summarise the results of recent research on toad biology and impact, and talk about exciting new discoveries that may help us to control this troublesome invader.