Increased rates of dispersal of free-ranging cane toads (Rhinella marina) during their global invasion

Richard Shine*, Ross A. Alford, Ryan Blennerhasset, Gregory P. Brown, Jayna L. DeVore, Simon Ducatez, Patrick Finnerty, Matthew Greenlees, Shannon W. Kaiser, Samantha McCann, Lachlan Pettit, Ligia Pizzatto, Lin Schwarzkopf, Georgia Ward-Fear, Benjamin L. Phillips

*Corresponding author for this work

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    10 Citations (Scopus)
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    Invasions often accelerate through time, as dispersal-enhancing traits accumulate at the expanding range edge. How does the dispersal behaviour of individual organisms shift to increase rates of population spread? We collate data from 44 radio-tracking studies (in total, of 650 animals) of cane toads (Rhinella marina) to quantify distances moved per day, and the frequency of displacement in their native range (French Guiana) and two invaded areas (Hawai’i and Australia). We show that toads in their native-range, Hawai’i and eastern Australia are relatively sedentary, while toads dispersing across tropical Australia increased their daily distances travelled from 20 to 200 m per day. That increase reflects an increasing propensity to change diurnal retreat sites every day, as well as to move further during each nocturnal displacement. Daily changes in retreat site evolved earlier than did changes in distances moved per night, indicating a breakdown in philopatry before other movement behaviours were optimised to maximise dispersal.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number23574
    Pages (from-to)1-9
    Number of pages9
    JournalScientific Reports
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2021

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    Copyright the Author(s) 2021. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


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