Regulatory Status

The cane toad (also well-known as the bufo, large or naval toad) is a large, nonnative amphibian that has actually been introduced right into Florida. Cane toads are taken into consideration an invasive types and space poisonous come most pets that try to bite or consume them. Cane toads space not protected in Florida except by anti-cruelty law and also can be eliminated from personal property and humanely killed year-round v landowner permission. Recorded cane toads may not be relocated and also released.

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Captive-held cane toads are regulated as Class III wildlife in the State of Florida. A permit is not required to own cane toads as an individual pets. However, a License to Possess class III Wildlife because that Exhibition or windy Sale must be derived to possess this amphibians because that commercial use and a Captive Wildlife income Permit is compelled to import this types into the state.


Cane toads space reddish-brown to grayish-brown v a light-yellow or beige belly and also can be uniform in shade or have darker markings roughly the body. They have actually enlarged glands behind the eyes, which edge downward top top the shoulders. The glands secrete a potent milky-white toxin (bufotoxin) together defense versus predators including residential pets.

Cane toads generally variety in size from 6 to 9 inches in length. They have the right to be perplexed with the aboriginal southern toad, however, adult cane toads space much bigger than adult southern toads i m sorry only flourish to a maximum of approximately 3 come 4 inches.

Cane toads do not have ridges across the head, as watched in the southerly toad.

In Florida, cane toads are found in urban, suburban and farming areas. Cane toads are typically found in yards, around buildings or near canals and also ponds. Cane toads each other year-round in was standing water, streams, canals and also ditches.

How to recognize Invasive Cane Toads

Dr. Steve Johnson, UF IFAS Wildlife Ecologist, shows how to recognize the Cane or "Bufo" toad, an invasive toad invading Florida backyards and also threatening Florida's pets.



Cane toads are omnivores and also eat a selection of vegetation, insects, small birds, various other toads or frogs, lizards, tiny mammals, and snakes. If available, cane toads might be attracted to and also eat person table scraps and pet food. Never leave pet food outside to prevent attracting cane toads and also other animals.

Native Range

Cane toads are aboriginal to the Amazon basin in southern America and also north to the reduced Rio Grande valley in southerly Texas. 

Florida Distribution and Sightings

Cane toads were first introduced right into Florida come control agricultural pests in street cane in the 1930s and 40s. The is believed that existing populations are the an outcome of escapes and releases by importers in the 1950s and also 60s. Cane toads are at this time found in main and southern Florida, generally south the the I-4 corridor.

Visit for a map that credible cane toad sightings.

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Potential Impacts

The skin-gland secretions of cane toads (called bufotoxin) are highly toxic and can sicken or also kill animals that bite or feeding on them, including native animals and also domestic pets. The skin secretions may irritate the skin or burn the eye of world who manage them. Cane toad eggs additionally contain bufotoxin and also can injury or kill native animals that consume them. Cane toads also potentially contend with aboriginal frogs and also toads because that food and breeding areas.

To safely eliminate cane toads, undertake eye and also skin protection, and wear latex, rubber, or nitrile gloves if handling. Captured cane toads might not be relocated and released. Homeowners the need aid removing cane toads from their property have the right to hire a wildlife trapper. The is also really important come make sure that you have actually properly figured out the animal as a cane toad and not a native southern toad, i m sorry is a beneficial part of the Florida ecosystem.

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Frequently request Questions

Can I remove cane toads from mine property?

Yes. Cane toads are not defended in Florida except by anti-cruelty law and can be removed and humanely eliminated on private property year-round v landowner permission. Come safely eliminate cane toads, undertake eye and also skin protection, and wear latex, rubber, or nitrile gloves if handling. Captured cane toads may not be relocated and released. Homeowners that need assistance removing cane toads from your property can hire a wildlife trapper. The is also really important come make sure that you have actually properly established the animal as a cane toad and not a aboriginal southern toad, i m sorry is a beneficial component of the Florida ecosystem. Adult cane toads variety in dimension from 6-9 customs long, while southerly toads only flourish to 3-4 customs long. Southerly toads will have actually well characterized cranial crests which look prefer ridges or horns above their eyes and a small, oval shaped gland visible behind their eyes. Cane toads do not have crests above their eyes and also possess a larger, triangular shame gland behind your eye. You have the right to learn more about how to properly identify cane toads ~ above this video from UF: Cane Toads - exactly how to recognize This Invasive pest - YouTube.

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This video from the university of Florida institute of Food and agricultural Sciences goes end some approaches to humanely capture and kill cane toads.

What must I carry out if my pet bites or swallows a cane toad?

If your pet bites or swallows a cane toad, lock can come to be sick and also die in as small as 15 minute without proper treatment. Cane toads relax a milky toxin that can stick in a pet’s mouth. Symptoms may include frantic or disoriented behavior, brick red gums, seizures, and also foaming in ~ the mouth. If you view these symptoms, follow these steps:

Wash toxin forward out of mouth utilizing a hose because that ten minutes being mindful not to straight water down the throat.Wipe gums/tongue with dish towel to remove toxins.Get your pet come the vet!

This instructional video from the college of Florida"s institute of Food and farming Sciences outlines this steps. 

What can I perform to save cane toads off my property?

Remove areas where cane toads or their prey can hide or look for shelter:

Cut your grass regularly and keep it shortFill in any holes around structuresTrim the underside of shrubsKeep branches or riprap turn off the groundClear away brush pilesRemove clutter

Remove food that can tempt cane toads and their prey:

Feed pet indoors as soon as possibleBring outdoor pets food and water bowls indoors at nightClean up any food scraps from pet bowls or outside tables and also grills

What must I execute if i come into contact with a cane toad? 

Thoroughly wash your hands after comes into call with a cane toad, together you would after touching any type of wild animal. 

Always wear latex, rubber or nitrile gloves to safely take care of cane toads. 

What if I have actually a pet cane toad I deserve to no longer treatment for?

Escaped or released pets continue to be a primary source of introduced types in Florida, and it is illegal to present nonnative species into the state. Pet owners who can no longer keep their exotic pets, including cane toads, can find a new home for them with the FWC’s Exotic Pet amnesty Program. This routine helps reduce the number of nonnative varieties being released right into the wild and fosters responsible pet property by giving pet owners a responsible and ecologically sound alternate to release an exotic animal. Note: The FWC does not rehome wild-caught nonnative wildlife.