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Living with cane toads: Professor Rick Shine wins Prime Minister’s national science prize for his idea

An evolutionary biologist has come up with an idea to protect native animals from cane toads. 

Professor Rick Shine won the Prime Minister’s national science prize for his radical idea to train native predators to avoid eating the larger, deadly, toads by eating smaller cane toads.

‘If you eat a large cane toad you die of a heart attack, a small cane toad you learn not to eat it again,’ he said.

‘The reality is, it’s almost impossible to eradicate these invasions species.

‘What we’ve shown is you can teach the native fauna to co-exist with them, so they are much less of a problem they’d otherwise be.

‘When I first suggested the idea people thought it was the world’s worst idea.’

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