To be honest, I am surprised that this is considered unusual. Locally (around
Rockhampton), I know of a couple of locations where crows (Torresian) are
considered to be in troublesome numbers ... certainly at far higher population
densities than the general area. My personal pet theory (just an armchair
opinion really) is that these are locations that have high levels of outdoor
all night lighting and the crows have gone on to 'night shift' to work the
toads and support a much greater population of crows - the one location I am
most familiar with is positively festooned in toad 'shells' often in locations
where no toad is ever going to reach of its own devices. Away from those
locations, I think most crow/toad interactions involve 'road toads' (i.e. ones
that have been squashed by cars) but even they make quite good toad shells.
Maybe in the more inland locations with lower night time temperatures, the
toads are more tempted to be active with the sun nearer or above the horizon
making them more vulnerable to crows without artificial lighting. I certainly
don't think they make all that much of a dent on the toad population around
> Message: 13
> Date: Sat, 31 Jan 2015 14:42:13 +1100
> From: Carl Clifford <>
> To: shane brady <>
> Cc: "" <>
> Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Crow vs Toad
> Message-ID: <>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
> This behaviour by Corvids has been reported a few times in the top end. Not
> quite as spectacular as the Case of the Exploding Toads in Germany a few
> years back, but the technique seems to pretty effective. Hopefully, the
> behaviour will be learnt by other Corvids.
> Anyone not familiar with the German exploding toads, might like to watch
> this: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XK4WS83LKIM
> Carl Clifford
> > On 31 Jan 2015, at 10:38 am, shane brady <> wrote:
> > Hi all
> > Crows appear to be winning the battle against Cane Toads, at least at our
> > in-laws' property in the Maranoa abt 90km east of Roma.
> > During our latest visit before Xmas, there was a noticeable decrease in
> > toads v frogs, by calls at least. They have been totally dominant out there
> > for years.
> > Every morning a Crow actively hunts them out of a hole beneath a tree in
> > the homestead garden and eats them belly-first.
> > Crows are apparently applying this technique to other reptiles and
> > amphibians as I found a tree frog and a dragon lizard that had been eaten
> > the same telltale way, presumably by Crows.
> > Cane Toads have been rife in the area for a long time. Step on a piece of
> > caked mud by a dry dam and dozens of toadlets would scurry out. But they
> > were strangely quiet this time, and we were treated to an amazing frog
> > symphony each night after the recent rains. Two sounded like they were
> > having an aurgument - one kept responding 'You're wrong, you're wrong -
> > wrong, wrong , wrong'. Hilarious.
> > I also saw a meteorite explode while out listening to them one starry night.
> > Goannas, which have been absent for some time, are also returning. I saw a
> > magnificent Sand Goanna cross the Roma-Taroom Rd nr Mooga Mooga Ck. Just
> > missed him, thankfully.
> > I know all the above is only anecdotal but the signs are encouraging.
> > Shane B
> > Brisbane
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