Cane Toads on Maui
Cane Toad: Rhinella marina were first introduced to Oahu, Hawaii in 1932. 148 Toads were released by sugar growers to control sugar cane beetles. Descendants of this original introduction were subsequently spread, intentionally, throughout the Hawaiian Islands, and is a major pest on all islands including Maui. The Toads couldn’t do a good job of controlling the cane beetle as the sugar cane stalks are often towering 6-8 feet high so most of the cane beetles sitting on the stalks were out of reach for the ground dwelling toads. The introduction of cane toads was a biological blunder and failure of epic proportions. Toads in Hawaii have no natural predators, they reproduce quickly and have little or no competition. The intentional release of this alien species of cane toads by the Sugar Cane industry was an ecological disaster for the Hawaiian islands because these toads indiscriminately preyed upon local insects and native frog species. Cane Toads produce toxic compounds through their skin, so do not touch them, or let your animals lick or bite them.