"First, there were murder hornets. Now, invasive, poisonous toads are the latest bizarre creature to go wild in the U.S. As South Florida enters its wet season aka hurricane season, the cane toad—an ugly, warty, brown amphibian with poison can kill pet dogs—is thriving. That’s not only concerning for pet owners. These toads are highly destructive to the environment.
The cane toad is native to South America, Central America, and parts of southern Texas. Florida, though? Nope. Humans are to blame for the species’ presence there. In 1936, people brought about 200 of these ugly boys to Florida in an attempt to keep insects from damaging sugarcane fields. That failed miserably as the cane toads just ate, well, everything.
The toads decimate the food available for other native species that contribute to a healthy ecosystem, including insects and other small lizards. At the same time, their poison protects them from any predators. The Fish and Wildlife Service designated them in 2018 as a “high” risk species due to the damage the animals inflict on the environment."