Data from: Ecological immunization: In situ training of free-ranging predatory lizards reduces their vulnerability to invasive toxic prey
Ward-Fear, Georgia et al. (2015), Data from: Ecological immunization: In situ training of free-ranging predatory lizards reduces their vulnerability to invasive toxic prey, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.92n50
In Australia, large native predators are fatally poisoned when they ingest invasive cane toads (Rhinella marina). As a result, the spread of cane toads has caused catastrophic population declines in these predators. Immediately prior to the arrival of toads at a floodplain in the Kimberley region, we induced conditioned taste aversion in free-ranging varanid lizards (Varanus panoptes), by offering them small cane toads. By the end of the 18-month study, only one of 31 untrained lizards had survived longer than 110 days, compared to more than half (nine of 16) of trained lizards; the maximum known survival of a trained lizard in the presence of toads was 482 days. In situ aversion training (releasing small toads in advance of the main invasion front) offers a logistically simple and feasible way to buffer the impact of invasive toads on apex predators.