Home » Cane Toads: A Tale of Sugar, Politics and Flawed Science by Nigel Turvey
Cane Toads: A Tale of Sugar, Politics and Flawed Science Nigel Turvey

Cane Toads: A Tale of Sugar, Politics and Flawed Science

Nigel Turvey

Published October 11th 2013
ISBN : 9781743323595
Paperback
262 pages
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 About the Book 

Before the birth of modern insecticides, farmers and gardeners used predatory and parasitic wasps and flies, insect-eating birds, lizards and toads as agents of biological control. In the late 19th century sugar cane scientists carried cane toadsMoreBefore the birth of modern insecticides, farmers and gardeners used predatory and parasitic wasps and flies, insect-eating birds, lizards and toads as agents of biological control. In the late 19th century sugar cane scientists carried cane toads from Barbados to Puerto Rico, to Hawaii and then Queensland to control pests. Toads were introduced to some 138 countries, and are now ranked among the worlds most invasive species. Queenslands sugar scientists released the toad into cane fields in 1935. They were supported by cane growers, politicians, the nations leading scientists, the premier of Queensland and the prime minister of Australia. Only a lone voice objected. In the following 70 years they spread as far as western NSW and Western Australia. This story is about good intentions, unintended consequences and of simple acts leading to catastrophic outcomes. It is about scientists so committed to solving a problem, serving their country, their leaders and the industry that employed them, that they are blinkered to adverse impacts. There are lessons to learn from the toads tale. And as the tale shows, we still come perilously close to repeating the mistakes of the past.