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Toads tipped to hit Indigenous food sources

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 28 November 2004

A Charles Darwin University researcher says Indigenous people who eat native wildlife will notice the impact of cane toads on wildlife.

Barry Brook is studying populations of goannas in areas where there are no cane toads, to measure the actual impact the toads will have on wildlife when they do arrive.

Dr Brook says the cane toad's arrival at Maningrida in northern Arnhem Land has affected Indigenous food sources.

"They ate a low level of goanna before cane toads arrived but it was culturally a very important item for them," he said.

"Now they eat no goanna because they can't find them, because the densities are so low."

He says while goannas will not become extinct, their numbers are likely to drop dramatically.

"You really only need to survive a single consumption of a toad and it tastes so awful that they'll never do it again," he said.

"So these sort of goannas which are physiologically more tolerant of the toxin are more likely to be the foundation of a new population which is much more resilient."

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