The cane toad was introduced to Australia in the hope that it would control two species of beetle (French’s cane beetle and the greyback cane beetle) which were decimating sugar cane crops. (The beetles’ larvae were eating the roots and stunting, if not killing, the plants.) As it turned out, the plan was unsuccessful. Adult beetles for the most part lived in the upper stalks of cane plants beyond the jumping reach of the toads—so toads did not eat them!1
No doubt farmers’ hopes had been raised by the success of an earlier biological control project. The Cactoblastis insect was deliberately released in 1926 to control prickly pear infestations, achieving spectacular success within just a few years. Such control has nothing to do with evolution. Farmers have used similar common sense biological controls for centuries, well before Darwin. John Mann, the scientist responsible for the Cactoblastis introduction, was heaped with accolades and honours for his achievement, and was a convinced biblical creationist.2
The cane toad’s rapid spread is not a unique phenomenon. Rabbits were unknown in Australia before European settlers brought them, yet soon colonized a massive area, extending from their release sites in south-east Australia all the way to the coast of Western Australia. That these creatures could so quickly occupy vast lands simply by gradual spread, expanding their territory as they increased population numbers, puts paid to the idea that post-Flood migration would have needed tens of thousands of years. After the Genesis Flood, there was little resistance to animal invasion all around the world, with successive population waves of animals being able to readily occupy “empty” ecological niches in all directions.3
1 Killing off the cane toad, The University of Queensland—Institute for Molecular Bioscience,www.imb.uq.edu.au/index.html?page=48437, 2003.
2 Famous creation scientists—interview with John Mann, M.B.E., Creation 5(2):13–17, 1982; creation.com/mann.
3 See Wieland, C., The grey blanket—What the story of Australia’s amazing rabbit plague teaches us about the Genesis Flood, Creation 25(4):45–47, 2003;creation.com/blanket.