By David DeFranza, TreeHugger
Tigers, black rhinoceros, and giant pandas attract a lot of attention from conservationists and wildlife lovers—and with good reason. The global populations for these species number in the thousands or even less and their habitats are rapidly degrading.
Dig deeper into endangered lists, however, and hundreds more species turn up which—while they may have a greater population—are facing challenges that make their futures look grim. But just because a species is not on the Endangered Species List does not mean it’s safe from harm. From the millions of frogs harvested each year for their legs to the sage grouse facing encroaching oil drillers, species struggle even without special conservation designations.
The losses are not limited to endangered species. One of the growing threats to frogs is the global demand for frogs legs. Targeting typically common frog species—like the green pond frog—the world’s insatiable appetite for frogs legs—including 4.6 million pounds in the United States, 4.4 million pounds in Asia, and 9.2 million pounds in Europe annually—is proving to be unsustainable. Billions of frogs a year are harvested for their legs, pushing some local populations past the point of collapse.
Photo credit: j / f / photos / Creative Commons