Polk County’s Invasive Amphibians (Webinar Opportunity)

Join UF/IFAS Extension Agent, Shannon Carnevale, to learn about cane toads and Cuban treefrogs.

Invasive species, like cane toads and Cuban treefrogs, are species that (a) are nonnative to a specified geographic area, (b) were introduced by humans (intentionally or unintentionally), and (c) does or can cause environmental or economic harm or harm to humans.

Cane toads, Rhinella marina, can:

  • cause illness or death if eaten by pets
  • cause skin or eye irritation to humans

Cuban treefrogs, Osteopilus septentrionalis, can:

  • cause an allergy or asthmatic-like reaction in some people
  • harm our ecosystems by eating our native treefrogs
  • damage urban electrical systems and cause economic harm


Cane Toad Distribution Area

Cane toads are currently found in a large swath of SE Florida and Central Florida with smaller populations showing up and establishing in the Lee/Collier area, Sarasota, and a new population in the Deland, FL area. “As of 2017, they were established in much of the southern peninsula as far north as Tampa (Figure 1), and there have been several isolated sightings in northern Florida and one in southeast Georgia.” according to Dr. Steve Johnson, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist for UF/IFAS Wildlife Ecology and Conservation.

Map of known cane toad distribution in Florida as of January 2017. Map indicates cane toads are currently found in large portions of Pasco, Hillsborough, Polk, Highlands, Okeechobee, Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, Miami Dade, Lee, and Collier counties.
Known cane toad distribution in Florida as of January 2017. Note the small, isolated yet established population in Deland, Volusia County.
Cuban Treefrog Distribution Area

Cuban Treefrogs are likely established in all of Florida’s peninsular counties and are expanding west into the panhandle. “The ultimate distribution of Cuban treefrogs in Florida and the southeastern United States will likely be dictated by climate.” according to Dr. Steve Johnson, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist for UF/IFAS Wildlife Ecology and Conservation.

Map of current Cuban Treefrog distribution. The map indicates that Cuban treefrogs are established in all of Florida's peninsular counties and are expanding their range into the panhandle.
Geographic distribution of Cuban treefrogs (by county) in Florida.
At this webinar, participants will learn:
  • how to identify cane toads and their native lookalikes
  • how to identify Cuban treefrogs and their native lookalikes
  • the impact of invasive reptiles to Polk County and our ecosystems
  • how to humanely euthanize and remove invasive amphibians from your community

This webinar will be offered twice, once during the workday as a lunch and learn and once in the evening. Please register for the session which fits into your schedule the best, not both.

Is this webinar appropriate for youth?

Adult learners are the intended audience for this webinar; however, if a parent or guardian participates alongside youth learners then the material might be okay. As a reminder, this webinar will discuss humane euthanization (albeit, not in a graphic way) so this topic may not be appropriate for all youth. Please use your discretion as a parent or guardian.



Event image photo credit: Brian Gratwicke / CC BY 2.0

University of Florida IFAS Extension is committed to diversity of people, thought and opinion, to inclusiveness and to equal opportunity.
UF/IFAS Extension is an Equal Opportunity Institution.


Avatar photo
Posted: June 22, 2020

Category: Invasive Species, Natural Resources, Pests & Disease, Wildlife
Tags: Cane Toads, Cuban Treefrogs, Invasive Species, Shannon Carnevale, Wildlife

Subscribe For More Great Content

IFAS Blogs Categories