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Killer loads

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Killer loads An ecological community is a very finely balanced system, and changing one element can alter the whole community. This fact was discovered when giant African cane toads were imported into the West Indies and into Australia to control the rats and mice that damaged sugar cane crops.

Unfortunately, the greedy toads ate the local wildlife instead. They have severely damaged the communities of ground-living birds, reptiles and mammals, some of which were already under threat.

A similar situation arose when the mongoose was introduced to help control rats. It promptly wiped out some species of bird instead.

Rats and mice breed in such huge numbers that they can always outbreed the appetite of any predator introduced to control them.

Tags: toad, ecology

Category: Education  - ( Education Archive)

Date Added: 15 December '11

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