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  • Pesky Critters Wildlife Control

Toxic Toads - Invasive Cane Toads

It's #LeapDay! In observation we decided to highlight the difference between the native Southern Toad VS the highly invasive (and toxic) Cane Toad! The cane toad (also known as the bufo, giant or marine toad) is a large, nonnative amphibian that has been introduced into Florida.

Cane toads are considered an invasive species and are poisonous to most animals that try to bite or consume them. The skin-gland secretions of cane toads (called bufotoxin) are highly toxic and can sicken or even kill animals that bite or feed on them, including native animals and domestic pets. The skin secretions may irritate the skin or burn the eyes of people who handle them.

Cane toads were first introduced into Florida to control agricultural pests in sugar cane in the 1930s and 40s. It is believed that current populations are the result of escapes and releases by importers in the 1950s and 60s. Cane toads are currently found in central and south Florida, generally south of the I-4 corridor. They can be confused with the native southern toad, however, adult cane toads are much larger than adult southern toads which only grow to a maximum of approximately 3 to 4 inches. Cane toads do not have ridges across the head, as seen in the southern toad.

Cane toads (or bufo toads) can be found in abundance throughout South Florida, ESPECIALLY in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. They are a leading cause of illness in dogs, due to the bufotoxin they excrete.

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