Australian birds learn to eat cane toads safely


This video is called Australian magpie song.

From Southern Cross University in Australia:

Birds learn to eat cane toads safely

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Southern Cross University researcher Gillian Marchant has found that birds are learning how to eat cane toads.

Gillian began a study into cane toads on the Northern Rivers to assess community awareness of the noxious creatures and to investigate the most humane way in which to kill cane toads.

“Through interviewing survey participants, I unexpectedly discovered that many people had seen crows and magpies flipping cane toads over and ripping open their soft underbelly with their beaks, exposing the internal organs and providing a tasty non-toxic meal,” said Gillian, who is undertaking the research as her Master of Environmental Science project.

“If the behaviour spreads more widely among bird populations, there is a good chance that these meat-eating birds will become a natural predator of cane toads – which have no other environmental predators to keep their populations under control.”

Gillian’s survey of residents has found that most people are still not fully aware of just how poisonous the toads can be.

Crocodiles at risk from cane toad march: here.

Bashed frog victim of mistaken cane toad identity: here.

A Toad More Traveled: The Heterogeneous Invasion Dynamics of Cane Toads in Australia: here.

Attacks on humans by Australian Magpies (Cracticus tibicen): territoriality, brood-defence or testosterone? Here.

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5 thoughts on “Australian birds learn to eat cane toads safely

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