Cane  Toads  An  Unnatural  History

Dr. Cathy Bevier

Associate Professor of Biology, Colby College

Cane Toads: An Unnatural History— Ecology and Evolution of a Successful Invasive Species

A discussion of the ecology and evolution of a successful invasive species.

Maine Film Center / Railroad Square Cinema Waterville, ME

Film Synopsis

A documentary detailing the spread of Hawaiian sugar-cane toads through Australia in a botched effort to introduce them as counter pests.

This documentary details the introduction of Hawaiian sugar-cane toads into Australia in 1935 in a botched effort to control a beetle infestation that was destroying the country's sugar cane fields. The cane toad ate the beetles—and everything else. With no natural predator to withstand its poison, the 100 original cane toad settlers soon took over the entire northern half of the vast continent of Australia. The film observes the toad's odd and often hilarious behavior and habits. Scientific commentary is balanced with fervently held opinions by local farmers on what to do about the cute but destructive cane toad.

About the Speaker

Dr. Cathy Bevier is an associate professor of biology at Colby College. Her research interests include the behavioral and physiological ecology of vertebrates, especially frogs, and ecosystem resilience to residential development in the Belgrade Lakes Watershed. She received her BS in biology from Indiana University in 1989, and her PhD in ecology from the University of Connecticut in 1995.