Toad's tongue for breakfast : exploitation of a novel prey type, the invasive cane toad, by scavenging raptors in tropical Australia

Beckmann, Christa and Shine, Richard 2011, Toad's tongue for breakfast : exploitation of a novel prey type, the invasive cane toad, by scavenging raptors in tropical Australia, Biological invasions, vol. 13, no. 6, pp. 1447-1455, doi: 10.1007/s10530-010-9903-8.

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Title Toad's tongue for breakfast : exploitation of a novel prey type, the invasive cane toad, by scavenging raptors in tropical Australia
Author(s) Beckmann, ChristaORCID iD for Beckmann, Christa orcid.org/0000-0002-7904-7228
Shine, Richard
Journal name Biological invasions
Volume number 13
Issue number 6
Start page 1447
End page 1455
Total pages 9
Publisher Springer Netherlands
Place of publication Dordrecht, The Netherlands
Publication date 2011-06
ISSN 1387-3547
1573-1464
Keyword(s) bufotoxin
chaunus marinus
frog
invasive species
rhinella marina
road-kill
Summary Although interest in the ecological impacts of invasive species has largely focused on negative effects, some native taxa may benefit from invader arrival. In tropical Australia, invasive cane toads (Bufo marinus) have fatally poisoned many native predators (e.g., marsupials, crocodiles, lizards) that attempt to ingest the toxic anurans, but birds appear to be more resistant to toad toxins. We quantified offtake of dead (road-killed) cane toads by raptors (black kites (Milvus migrans) and whistling kites (Haliastur sphenurus)) at a site near Darwin, in the Australian wet-dry tropics. Raptors readily took dead toads, especially small ones, although native frogs were preferred to toads if available. More carcasses were removed in the dry season than the wet season, perhaps reflecting seasonal availability of alternative prey. Raptors appeared to recognize and avoid bufotoxins, and typically removed and consumed only the toads’ tongues (thereby minimizing toxin uptake). The invasion of cane toads thus constitutes a novel prey type for scavenging raptors, rather than (as is the case for many other native predators) a threat to population viability.
Language eng
DOI 10.1007/s10530-010-9903-8
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, Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30047760

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