Give rats credit where it’s due

Jennifer Crocker’s letter in the November Shooter regarding the decline of the goanna is so true. I hunt a large property in central Queensland where the owner told me that since the arrival of the cane toad about 18 years ago the goanna population plummeted to the extent it’s rare to see them there today. In hunting the area for the past eight years I’ve never seen a goanna there.

An effective predator of the cane toad is the white tail water-rat which quickly flips it on its back to disembowel, always avoiding the head. I’ve seen this twice - at night and just before daylight.

The crow gets credit for the kill but in my experience he’s only doing what he does best - cleaning up what’s left by the rat. The toad is mainly active at night, the water-rat’s prime hunting time, while the crow is active in daylight, scavenging the leftovers around dams and waterways, common habitat of water-rats and toads.

Gavin Adams, Qld

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