Invasive Species

cane_toads

Invasive species struck me as a subject with high potential to be very interesting. Before hearing about these unstoppable predators, I was only aware of few situations that I now know are included in this invasive species category. The cane toad came to my mind immediately. I’ve heard a few stories now and then about their troublesome invasion that was brought on in the past. They were introduced in Australia to hunt the cane beetle. Of course, being an invasive species, they flourished without any means of stopping them. With nothing to hunt them down after they demolished the cane beetle population, they became a froggy force to be reckoned with. With more light researching about it, it seems that the cane toad is a rather notorious beast and has become an invasive pest in a number of countries over the years of its involuntary travel. At first it seemed funny thinking about this toad being such a menace to the natural habitat of Australia’s many.. many deadly inhabitants, but the cane frog just let’s them try to swallow him up. It’s a very poisonous species to everything else that tries to consume it. Obviously, no one will be chowing down on the cane toad because of that. Astoundingly though, other species of birds and snakes have evolved to be able to hunt the cane toad and avoid it’s poisonous glands.
There’s nothing more incredible than this display of the invasive species becoming a part of the system itself- impacting the way the native animals hunted and behaved just by being plopped down by humans. While it still seems to be a bother to many species, and their population is vastly increasing, they seem to be getting responses in amazing ways from the rest of their environment. Along with this species and other invasive creatures like the Python, I hope to find more and more impressive and pesky monsters like the cane toad.

 

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6 thoughts on “Invasive Species

  1. I went to high school here in Florida, and I remember my freshmen biology class where the teacher told us about these guys. She told us that the government wanted them dead, and if we see them we should freeze them to kill them…

    • Taylor and I went to the same high school and had the same biology teacher, and I totally remember her saying the same exact thing. I believe that this rule also applied to Cuban treefrogs. She always suggested capturing and freezing the frogs so as to humanely kill them due to how destructive they were, but I suppose that any means of eradicating them is technically acceptable.

      I had no idea how poisonous they were though. Clearly their toxicity is a very potent adaptation.

  2. Very interesting. I found alien species amazing and in some ways can relate to them. I remember in class we talked about the debate if humans are alienated species but that is a debate. We do invade habitats that we can’t live on and damage the habitat, however I’m also interested in the socially alienated habitat that we put on to ourselves as humans. When we go to another country we are alienated because we are not use to that culture and ways of behavior.

    • That is a really interesting response and it totally makes sense. After reading that I almost feel like humans are an invasive species because in my opinion humans cause the most damage. Invasive species wouldn’t even be an issue if people would let nature run it’s course I think.

      • I like that, humans being the invasive species. It makes total sense. We’ve invaded all parts of the world and tried to modify our environment, pushing out or just plain destroying the indigenous wildlife. We are definitely the invasive species.

  3. I think it’s rather ironic how their invasion was humanity’s fault because we wanted to exclude another species that was a pest and was just replaced with another, but i find it interesting that the ecosystem that had this new, foreign entity thrust in their face, adapted and had some species mutate in order to eat the toad.

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