Effects of toe-clipping on growth, body condition, and locomotion of cane toads (Rhinella marina)

Cameron M. Hudson*, Gregory P. Brown, Richard Shine

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Toe-clipping is a standard technique for marking reptiles and amphibians individually, but concerns have been raised about the impact of the practice on animal welfare, survival, and behavior. We used a long-term mark-recapture dataset to investigate the impact of toe removal on free-ranging adult Cane Toads (Rhinella marina). Our analysis of 213 toads showed no impact of the number of toes removed on growth rates for mass or snout-urostyle length, nor any effect on body condition. Trials with sub-adult toads on a laboratory raceway revealed a short-term impact of toe-clipping on willingness to move (i.e., decreased immediately post-clipping), but no other significant impacts on locomotion. In summary, toe-clipping had minimal effects on Cane Toad locomotor ability, growth rate, or body condition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-260
Number of pages4
JournalCopeia
Volume105
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes

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