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 released in Queensland as a biological control for beetle pests of sugar cane, the cane toad is now a well-established pest itself. Cane toads currently range across Queensland, the Northern Territory and into New South Wales and Western Australia. Despite being less widespread than foxes or rabbits, community
surveys consistently rank the toad as our most hated invasive animal1 and it is listed as a key threatening species under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Today, most people know the cane toad was deliberately released as a biological control, but may not be familiar with the
events that led to their release.

A historical case study of the events surrounding the release of Australia’s most hated invasive animal and the lessons learned. Produced by the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre as part of the PestSmart series.


PestSmart Case Study: Introduction of the cane toad to Australia


PestSmart Toolkit: cane toad page

Author Invasive Animals CRC
Year 2012
Publisher Invasive Animals CRC
Pages 2 pp
ISBN/ISSN PestSmart code: CTCS1
Region Australia - national