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The cane toad (Rhinella marina, formerly Bufo marinus) is native to Central and South America and is a member of the ‘true toads’ (family Bufonidae).
Cane toads have dry, yellow-brown, warty skin and large distinctive lumps (known as parotoid glands) behind the head. Cane toads naturally generate potent toxins (bufodienolides) throughout their bodies, which act by stopping the heart of most animals that attempt to eat them. These toxins concentrate in glands on the toad’s skin, and may be exuded as a milky-white substance if the toad is aggravated or distressed.
The cane toad is often cited in surveys as Australia’s most hated invasive animal. Cane toads are listed as a ‘key threatening process’ under Australia’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. They adversely impact native species via predation, competition and poisoning by lethal toxin ingestion.