Invasive animals destroy native ecosystems, and the cane toad is one of the most harmful invasive animals in the world. Cane toads have spread to naturally beautiful Japanese islands, such as Ishigaki Island and the Ogasawara Islands. I am seeking methods to control cane toad populations on Ishigaki Island, which lies west of Okinawa, by using the toad’s evolved behavior and ecology. I am currently conducting research on their mating call (males call females) and on the pheromones of tadpoles (inducing cannibalism or decreasing the survival of metamorphosis). Through this research I am seeking ways to gather many cane toads together on one site for easy collection, and to decrease the number of cane toads emerging from ponds. Cane toads have been introduced to many areas in the world. Therefore, to find methods to control invasive populations of cane toads world-wide, I am collaborating with scientists in the University of Sydney, Australia, where the cane toad is also an ecological problem.
- Takashi Haramura, PhD
- Assistant Professor, The Hakubi Centre for Advanced Research / Seto Marine Biological Laboratory, FSERC