In the 2000’s a container ship carrying Asian toads arrived in Madagascar. Invasive species have a reputation have a reputation for causing an imbalance in local ecosystems. However, what has happened with the Asian toads in Madagascar since then?

File:Asian Common Toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus).jpg

Photograph of Asian Toad taken in Thailand

A new report says that the eradication of the species from Madagascar is “not currently feasible.” Estimates place their current population at around 4 million. Each female toad can lay an average of 20,000 eggs each year. Although most don’t survive, their population is not going down anytime soon. Scientists estimate that keeping the population stable would require 1.5 million toads killed each year while eradicating the population would require 2.5 million toads killed per year. It wouldn’t be very expensive, but no one knows where to look for these toads, let alone kill over 60% of its population.

As a result of being a new introduction into the ecosystem, predators do not have any way of dealing with this toad. Since the Asian toad is also poisonous, predator populations can decline. This can have profound effects on the ecosystem, one of which the further decline of the snake population. Snakes are also predators for rodents. If their population is allowed to skyrocket, diseases can run rampant. Industries and commercial items can be overrun. Toads can also directly affect the human population if humans decide to try and eat them.

If nothing is done, which is probably the most likely case, the toad population will go past the point of recovery similar to the case of the introduction of cane toads to Australia. Madagascar’s only choice is to attempt to adapt to this invasion.

Original Article

Print Friendly, PDF & Email