The power of myth : the (non) impact of invasive cane toads (Bufo marinus) on domestic chickens (Gallus gallus)

Beckmann, Christa and Shine, Richard 2010, The power of myth : the (non) impact of invasive cane toads (Bufo marinus) on domestic chickens (Gallus gallus), Animal production science, vol. 50, no. 9, pp. 847-851, doi: 10.1071/AN10084.

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Title The power of myth : the (non) impact of invasive cane toads (Bufo marinus) on domestic chickens (Gallus gallus)
Author(s) Beckmann, ChristaORCID iD for Beckmann, Christa
Shine, Richard
Journal name Animal production science
Volume number 50
Issue number 9
Start page 847
End page 851
Total pages 5
Publisher CSIRO Publishing
Place of publication Collingwood, Vic.
Publication date 2010
ISSN 1836-0939
Keyword(s) bufotoxin
Rhinella marina
urban legend
Summary Myths about invasive species are widespread in the general community, even when contrary to scientific evidence. Public revulsion against invasive cane toads (Bufo marinus) in Australia has encouraged the belief that toads pose a significant risk to domestic poultry, by poisoning fowls that eat toads or that drink water contaminated by toads. Although discredited by scientists in 1938, within 2 years of the toads’ introduction to Australia, the myth continues to flourish. We conducted experimental trials to evaluate the vulnerability of chickens to toad-contaminated water, and to toad ingestion. No ill effects were seen, with one chicken consuming 45 small toads without falling ill. Thus, available evidence suggests that cane toads do not imperil domestic poultry.
Language eng
DOI 10.1071/AN10084
Field of Research 050103 Invasive Species Ecology
050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
060201 Behavioural Ecology
Socio Economic Objective 960899 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of Environments not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2010, CSIRO
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