Madagascar is trying to find ways of completely eradicating the toxic toad immediately.
According to a new report, there ia a “diminishing window of opportunity” to completely eradicate the Asian toad.
The Asian toad is a toxic and invasive species that recently arrived in the country posing a threat to biodiversity, human health and the economy.
According to the report, the toxic toad causes death and cardiac arrest with cases already reported in Laos.
Frogs are consumed as a regular part of the diet in the extensive rural population of Madagascar.
The toads secrete a milky toxin that is poisonous to native birds, mammals and snakes that prey on them.
“Madagascar is a wildlife haven, containing some of the planet’s richest biodiversity, including lemurs,” said Christian Randrianantoandro of Madagasikara Voakajy, and a co-author of the report. “Without swift action, we expect the effects of this toad to be devastating. It could disrupt food chains and cause native predators, prey, and competitors to decline or even go extinct.”
Scientists are concerned that the Asian toad also known as the Javanese, will spread diseases to the native amphibian populations, in a country which has 300 species of frogs that are nearly endemic, meaning not found in any other part of the planet.
It is believed to have arrived in the country between 2007 and 2010 via freight containers travelling from the south-east of Asia.
It was only identified in 2014.
A team of scientists are working together with the community on small-scale eradication trials since January. They however wish to roll out the techniques at a greater scale of around 20-30 square kilometres to prevent them from reaching th Pangalanes system.
They also recommend the government to to come up with “rapid decisions” on a more long-term widescale strategy.