‘Toadzilla,’ record-breaking giant cane toad, discovered in Australia

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

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

Cane toads like this are considered a threat to biodiversity. They can quickly colonize habitats, due to the fact female cane toads can produce up to 30,000 eggs in a season, it said. 

They can also be “fatally poisonous to wildlife,” according to the statement. 

With no control method or biological control agent to target cane toads without harming native species, they must laboriously be collected and removed by hand, according to the New South Wales Environment and Heritage Group, which 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 the northern Australian native cat — which is now endangered in northern Australia, according to the group.

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

CORRECTION (Jan. 20, 2023, 8:15 a.m. ET): A previous version of this article and a headline misstated when Toadzilla was discovered. It was Jan. 12, not Jan. 19. The article also misspelled part of the name of a native species. It is the northern quoll, not quall.

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