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Diet and dietary selectivity of Cane Toads (Rhinella marina) in restoration sites: a case study in Far North Queensland, Australia



Cane Toads (Rhinella marina, formerly Bufo marinus) in restoration sites on the Atherton Tableland in NE Australia consumed invertebrates belonging to 11 different taxa with ants being the most abundant prey item. Principal component analyses showed that the composition of invertebrates in Cane Toad diet is largely a reflection of invertebrates found in pitfall and leaf litter samples suggesting that the species is an indiscriminant feeder. However, pitfall samples contained more Collembola and Isopoda than were found in Cane Toad stomachs. The Cane Toad may benefit from restoration management practices by utilizing food resources enhanced by mulching and providing microhabitats (e.g. rock piles, logs) as shelter. While further studies would be needed to test this practitioners working in areas where the Cane Toad is problematic may consider trade-offs between attracting invertebrates and Cane Toads by monitoring provided microhabitat features.