Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Australian ants may help control cane toads!

Using a native predator (the meat ant, Iridomyrmex reburrus) to reduce the abundance of an invasive species (the cane toad, Bufo marinus) in tropical Australia Georgia Ward-Fear, Gregory P. Brown and Richard Shine Journal of Applied Ecology April 2010, 47, 273–280 doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2010.01773.x

A new study from the University of Sydney that indicates native predatory ants in Queensland can be encouraged to predate on immature cane-toads spatially restricted to the edge of waterbodies.  As the ants are native there is limited 'colateral' damage to the local environment, giving encouraging results that they may act as an effective and ecologically sensitive biocontrol for this costly invasive.  
This was in in the news back in February.

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