Cane toad fact sheet


The death of the Super Hopper

“Picture swirling snow as far as the eye can see — in the middle of summer. Now, imagine this blizzard of flakes transforming into a swarm of locusts. This isn’t just any swarm, but the largest congregation of animal life that the human race has ever known. Picture yourself in Plattsmouth, Neb., in the summer of 1875.

A swarm of Rocky Mountain locusts streams overhead for five days, creating a living eclipse of the sun. It is a superorganism composed of 10 billion individuals, devouring as much vegetation as a massive herd of bison — a metabolic wildfire that races across the Great Plains. Before the year is up, a vast region of pioneer agriculture will be decimated and U.S. troops will be mobilized to distribute food, blankets and clothing to devastated farm families.”

“Today, this is hard to imagine; it sounds like an old Alfred Hitchcock thriller. But if we find it difficult to envision such masses of life, it is even more challenging to grasp that within 30 years of Dr. Child’s account of the largest insect swarm ever recorded anywhere, this species disappeared — forever. The last living specimen of the Rocky Mountain locust was collected in 1902 on the Canadian prairie.”

A dog ‘tail’ of two snails

For two dogs in Hawaii…

“Their job en-“tails” sniffing through some of Oahu’s most beautiful forests looking for the Euglandina rosea (Rosy wolfsnail), a common predator of the endangered Achatinella, commonly known as the Oahu, or kahuli, tree snail.”

“The Rosy wolfsnail is a cannibal snail that was first introduced to Hawaii in 1955 to eradicate the Giant African snail.

However, the Rosy wolfsnail traveled to higher elevations in the mountains of Oahu, where it discovered a new meal, the endangered Oahu tree snail…”

The mosquito: it’s relation to disease and its exterimination (1908)

This contains an overview of swamp drainage programs on Staten Island, by Alvah H. Doty:

New York State Journal of Medicine, Vol 8, No 5, pp.225-230 (Staten Island portion begins on p. 228)

Phylogenetic Diversity and Molecular Detection of Bacteria in Gull Feces

“In spite of increasing public health concerns about the potential risks associated with swimming in waters contaminated with waterfowl feces, little is known about the composition of the gut microbial community of aquatic birds. To address this, a gull 16S rRNA gene clone library was developed and analyzed to determine the identities of fecal bacteria. Analysis of 282 16S rRNA gene clones demonstrated that the gull gut bacterial community is mostly composed of populations closely related to Bacilli (37%), Clostridia (17%), Gammaproteobacteria (11%), and Bacteriodetes (1%). Interestingly, a considerable number of sequences (i.e., 26%) were closely related to Catellicoccus marimammalium, a gram-positive, catalase-negative bacterium. To determine the occurrence of C. marimammalium in waterfowl, species-specific 16S rRNA gene PCR and real-time assays were developed and used to test fecal DNA extracts from different bird (n = 13) and mammal (n = 26) species. The results showed that both assays were specific to gull fecal DNA and that C. marimammalium was present in gull fecal samples collected from the five locations in North America (California, Georgia, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Toronto, Canada) tested. Additionally, 48 DNA extracts from waters collected from six sites in southern California, Great Lakes in Michigan, Lake Erie in Ohio, and Lake Ontario in Canada presumed to be impacted with gull feces were positive by the C. marimammalium assay. Due to the widespread presence of this species in gulls and environmental waters contaminated with gull feces, targeting this bacterial species might be useful for detecting gull fecal contamination in waterfowl-impacted waters.”