Cane toad

The cane toad (Rhinella marina, formerly Bufo marinus) is native to Central and South America and is a member of the ‘true toads’ (family Bufonidae).

Cane toads have dry, yellow-brown, warty skin and large distinctive lumps (known as parotoid glands) behind the head. Cane toads naturally generate potent toxins (bufodienolides) throughout their bodies, which act by stopping the heart of most animals that attempt to eat them. These toxins concentrate in glands on the toad’s skin, and may be exuded as a milky-white substance if the toad is aggravated or distressed.

The cane toad is often cited in surveys as Australia’s most hated invasive animal. Cane toads are listed as a ‘key threatening process’ under Australia’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. They adversely impact native species via predation, competition and poisoning by lethal toxin ingestion.


 Learn More arrow-right

  • CABI: Invasive Species Compendium - Online encyclopaedic resource that draws together scientific information on all aspects of invasive species (plant and animal) worldwide
  • Identifying a cane toad - Adult cane toads are usually very large – around 9-15 cm (or 3.5 to 5 inches) long. If you find one over 4 cm long, you should be able to […]
  • Introduction of the cane toad to Australia - The introduction of cane toads (Bufo marinus) to Australia in the 1930s is one of the foremost examples of an exotic animal release gone wrong. Originally imported from Hawaii and […]
  • PestSmart Factsheet: Cane toad - The cane toad is native to Central and South America and is a member of the ‘true toads’ (family Bufonidae). Cane toads have dry, yellow-brown, warty skin and large distinctive […]
  • Assessing invasive animals in Australia 2008 - Invasive animals cause enormous damage to Australia’s economy, environment and society. Assessing Invasive Animals in Australia 2008 presents, for the first time, consistent national information on the distribution and abundance […]
  • Science of Cane Toad Invasion and Control - Workshop presentations cover discussion of the recommendations arising from CSIRO’s previous work on cane toads, recommendations from the Vertebrate Pest Committee Cane Toad Task Force (2005), research into the biology […]
  • Counting the cost: impact of invasive animals in Australia, 2004 - Feral animals cost Australia in excess of $720 million per year. They cause catastrophic damage and threaten our landscape, agriculture and industries. This report estimates the economic, environmental and social […]

Act

Standard Operating Procedures – cane toad control


Last updated: January 19, 2016