Scientists say they have found the best weapon yet to eradicate cane toads from isolated areas - using the amphibians' own toxin.

Professor Rick Shine from the University of Sydney's school of biological sciences said the system was already trapping tens of thousands of cane toad tadpoles, and could see the toads eradicated from some areas. The technique relies on research that two years ago found that cane toad tadpoles were attracted to the eggs of their own kind.

Shine said the tadpoles probably sought out the eggs to kill newly hatched tadpoles, which would compete for food.

It was eventually realised that the tadpoles found the eggs via the toad's venom. Scientists then realised they could use the venom as a bait, which repels native frogs.


The scientists captured tens of thousands of young cane toads within a few days, and completely eradicated the toads from billabongs about 50m in diameter.