Gladstone toads abnormal

A CQUniversity researcher has found that cane toads in Gladstone city are five times more likely to have abnormalities than those outside the city.

Most of us are disgusted by cane toads let alone mutated ones, but Dr Scott Wilson of CQUniversity finds them fascinating.

The researcher has almost completed his second year of studies in assessing toads from the Gladstone region.

This year he doubled the number of collection sites to 12 for a more thorough comparison of toads within the city, compared to other parts of the region.

He said while the toads in Gladstone were five times more likely to have abnormalities than those in non-urban areas, the numbers were consistent with last year’s results.

“It’s good it’s not getting worse,” he said.

He said the toads were a good environmental indicator, not just for other species but for general health.

“The toads are like the canaries in the coalmines — they’re an early warning indicator for potential harm in the environment.”

The next step in his research he said was to work out what was causing the abnormalities.

He said it was not necessarily the high level of industry in Gladstone, but it could be a factor and he was hoping to compare them with other cities.



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