Skip to main content

Dispersal distances of radio-tracked cane toads in French Guiana

Cite this dataset

Shine, Richard; DeVore, Jayna; Ducatez, Simon (2021). Dispersal distances of radio-tracked cane toads in French Guiana [Dataset]. Dryad.


Like most invasive species, cane toads have attracted less research in their native range than in invaded areas. We radio-tracked 34 free-ranging toads in French Guiana, a source region for most invasive populations, across two coastal and two rainforest sites. Coastal toads generally sheltered in pools of fresh or brackish water but nocturnally foraged on beaches, whereas rainforest toads sheltered in forested habitats, moving into open areas at night. Over five days of monitoring, native toads frequently re-used shelters and moved little between days (means = 10–63 m/site) compared to invasion-front toads from Australia (~250 m). Larger toads moved less between days, but displaced in more consistent directions. At night, foraging toads travelled up to 200 m before returning to shelters. Foraging distance was related to body condition at coastal sites, with toads in poorer body condition travelling farther. Rain increased the probability of coastal toads sheltering in the dry habitats where they foraged. Dispersal and rainfall were lower at coastal sites, and the strategies utilized by coastal toads to minimize water loss resembled those of invasive toads in semi-desert habitats. This global invader already exhibits a broad environmental niche and substantial behavioural flexibility within its native range.


We captured adult cane toads in the field in four sites in French Guiana, within the species' native rnage. We atatched transmitters with waistbelts, and located the toads by day and by night for 5 days. We recorded distances moved per dispalcement,a nd cumulatively, and whether or not the toad returned to the same diurnal shelter on successive days.

Usage notes

The file "cane toad tracking dataset" contains expanded headiongs to explain all variables


Australian Research Council, Award: FL120100074