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Cane Toads: An Unnatural History (1988)

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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 886 users  
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A documentary detailing the spread of Hawaiian sugar-cane toads through Australia in a botched effort to introduce them as counter pests.

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Title: Cane Toads: An Unnatural History (1988)

Cane Toads: An Unnatural History (1988) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tip Byrne ...
Himself - Cane Farmer from Tully
H.W. Kerr ...
Himself - Director of the Bureau of Sugar Experiment Stations, 1933-1943 (as Dr H.W. [Bill] Kerr)
Glen Ingram ...
Himself - Senior Curator Amphibia and Birds, Queensland Museum (as Dr Glen Ingram)
Bill Freeland ...
Himself - Wildlife Research Officer, Conservation Commission of the Northern Territory (as Dr Bill Freeland)
E.S. Edgerton ...
Himself - Former Member Cane Pest Board
Pat White ...
Himself - Cane Farmer from Gordonvale
John Oakes ...
Himself - Resident of Cairns
Patrick Cook ...
Himself - Social Commentator
David Sondergard ...
Himself - Resident of Gordonvale
Rob Floyd ...
Himself - Animal Ecologist (as Dr Rob Floyd)
Elvie Grieg ...
Herself - Resident of Redcliffe
Max Ackland ...
Himself - Mulgrave Shire Council (as Councillor Max Ackland)
Brian Hawke ...
Himself - Binding Conservator, National Library
Bob Endean ...
Himself - Associate Professor of Zoology, Queensland University (as Dr Bob Endean)
Mike Archer ...
Himself - Associate Professor of Zoology, University of N.S.W. (as Dr. Michael Archer)
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Storyline

Cane Toads is a documentary detailing the spread of Hawaiian sugar-cane toads (toads which live in the cane fields) through Queensland and then into the rest of Australia following a mis-informed attempt to introduce them to counter pests. Turns out they wouldn't eat the 'cane grubs' but they would multiply like no one's business... and they have no natural enemies in Australia at all, partly due to their poisonous skin. Written by Jay Furr <jfurr@danger.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An Unnatural History See more »

Genres:

Documentary

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

9 June 1988 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Természetellenes történet varangyokról  »

Filming Locations:

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Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

Mouse sequence filmed during regular feeding routine at Kurunda Wildlife Gardens. See more »

Connections

Spoofs Psycho (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

Cane Toad Blues
by Tim Finn
See more »

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User Reviews

Comments from an amphibianaphile.

Fairly interesting documentary about the deliberate introduction of the Giant toad (Bufo marinus) or Cane toad as it is called here, into Australia and the ecological havoc it has wrought there. It seems years ago, scientists thought this toad would help control pests that were destroying Australia's sugar cane crop. The toads did little to control the pests that were destroying the sugar cane crops, but they did manage to survive and thrive, reproducing in great numbers. They have brought havoc on local wildlife ever since. This could serve as a future warning to any scientist who gets the brilliant idea of introducing a new species to area it is not native.

While I found this documentary interesting and fun to watch, as an amateur naturalist with an interest in amphibians, a lot of important information about this creature was left out. For example, the film states the toad was introduced from Hawaii into Australia. It never mentions that Cane toads were also introduced into Hawaii, and are not a native species there either (Hawaii has no native amphibians.) Bufo marinus is a native of Latin America. For the record: its natural range extends from Patagonia north, throughout much of South and Central America, into central Mexico, where its range extends through a narrow band into to Northern Mexico where the toads natural range just enters the United States in the Big Bend region of Texas. The film also doesn't mention these toads had little effect on pests destroying the sugar cane crop in Hawaii either. Nor does it mention they were introduced in Florida for the same reason, with little positive effect there as well. With this toads introduction being a failure in so many places, I was hoping this film would raise a few questions on just what was going on in the heads of all those scientists back in early 20th century who spread this creature all over the world.


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