Quolls force-fed toads in survival fight

By environment reporter Sarah Clarke and staff, ABC NEWS. See full story here.

The  quolls that had been trained to avoid toads had a much higher survival  rate.The fairytale Little Red Riding Hood has inspired Australian scientists to invent a new weapon in the fight to save endangered native marsupials from being poisoned by cane toads.

The quolls that had been trained to avoid toads had a much higher survival rate. (Jonathan Webb)

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Cane toads have driven the northern quoll to extinction in many parts of northern Australia and they are threatening to invade Western Australia’s Kimberley regions, one of the quoll’s last strongholds.

But scientists from the University of Sydney have trained a group of 62 young quolls to associate cane toads with feeling sick – a process called “conditioned taste aversion”.

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