07 May 2006

Video Time Travel

The news is hot with self-imported Cane Toads dropping in on Western Australia; and at the same time, a video that we’re playing now has an account of the introduction of “Hawiian” (subtropical American continental, really) toads (and so — soonish — their littler “toadpoles”) into Gordonvale — near Cairns, Queensland — and some of the consequences.

One of the more striking consequences is like some common types of software: they don’t fix the problem they were imported against (they’re too low-ranged and lethargic to be seriously effective against cane beetles), but they do literally foul up other things:

Fish who eat toadpoles die. Animals who eat toad adults die. The museums have plenty of snakes preserved in jars which were killed by toad toxin so fast, the toad is still in their mouths unswallowed. Even small amounts of water, such as a pet’s water dish, can be fouled by toadpoles and adults.

It’s a bit of a comment on how good we as a community aren’t at sighting along the dotted line.

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