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Australian park rangers discover record-breaking cane toad

The species was introduced to Queensland in 1935 to control the reed beetle, a pest of sugar cane plantations.

The amphibian – often brown and encrusted with large warts – can grow to 26 centimeters (10.2 inches) and weigh up to 2.5 kilograms (5.5 pounds), although the department said cane toads from this size are rare.

Cane toads like this are considered a threat to biodiversity. They can quickly colonize habitats, as female cane toads can produce up to 30,000 eggs per season, he said.

They can also be “lethally toxic to wildlife,” the statement said.

With no control method or biological control agent to target cane toads without harming native species, they must be painstakingly collected and removed by hand, depending on the New South Wales Environment and Heritage Groupwhich oversees the Australian state of New South Wales, where cane toads are also spreading.

The cane toad has been linked to the decline and extinction of several of its predators, including the northern quoll – also known as Australia’s native northern cat – which is now endangered in northern Australia, according to the group..

But Toadzilla’s legacy will live on – authorities said his body was donated to the Queensland Museum for research.

CORRECTION (January 20, 2023, 8:15 a.m. ET): A previous version of this article and an inaccurate title when Toadzilla was discovered. It was January 12, not January 19. The article also misspelled part of the name of a native species. It’s the northern quoll, not quall.

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