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Frogs Eaten into Extinction?

Frogs Eaten into Extinction?

Global demand for frogs legs is pushing the poor amphibians towards extinction. Billions of frogs are either captured or raised on farms to be sold as food in markets or restaurants. The international frog trade is helping to spread the chytrid fungus, which may have already killed one hundred million frogs and has already driven some wild species into extinction. “A recent study estimated that 62 percent of the bullfrogs entering California from Asian frog farms are infected with the chytrid fungus. Bullfrogs serve as perfect vectors for fungus, as the frogs can survive infection loads of millions of chytrid zoospores. Because the infected frogs don’t die from the fungus, they are able to spread the pathogen to native amphibian populations.” (Source: IBTimes)

Western Europe is one of the main importers of frogs for personal consumption. They may import two billion each year. Their main suppliers are Indonesia Bangladesh, Malaysia, and India. Frogs in Indonesia may be driven into extinction trying to satisfy the demand in France and Belgium.

Wild frogs play an important role in ecosystems, and help humans because they eat insect pests. Because of the decline in frog populations, now more pesticides are being used. A increase in insect populations can also mean an increase in the spread of diseases such as malaria, and encephalitis because they are spread by insects. A frog can consume its own weight in insects every day. Only about fifty frogs are needed per acre of land to keep it low in insects.

Within the European Union capturing and killing native frogs is not allowed because those populations were decreased too much. “The decline of many frog species is a global problem that is being greatly accelerated by just a handful of European nations,” said a conservationist. (Source: Defenders of Wildlife)

To some, it might seem incomprehensible that humans could eat so many of a species or several species, they could all be wiped out. One species the California red-legged frog, Rana draytonii, was nearly eaten into extinction from commercial demand beginning with the Gold Rush in 1849. Over harvesting for decades reduced their population drastically. Even in 2011 the species is still considered threatened because it hasn’t rebounded to levels that are completely healthy.

Consumers sometimes are not aware of where animals they eat come from, and the destruction that results from international trade.

Image Credit: Carl D. Howe

Related Links
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6 Species Facing Extinction Without Protection

Read more: Environment, Nature, Nature & Wildlife, Wildlife,

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67 comments

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1:52PM PDT on May 2, 2012

More sad news for the animal kingdom but thanks for the posting Jake.

8:42AM PDT on May 2, 2012

Eat anything that doesn't kill you. Brilliant. Thanks a lot, frog-eating wankers.

4:09PM PDT on May 1, 2012

Thankyou....

5:56PM PST on Dec 27, 2011

very interesting article!

3:46PM PST on Dec 27, 2011

I'd rather have them eating mosquitoes than eating them.

2:37PM PDT on Aug 31, 2011

"do not corrupt the earth..." (Quran 7:56)

1:04AM PDT on Aug 24, 2011

This sounds absolutely horrible! I am vegetarian and the thought of eating frogs scares me!

1:44PM PDT on Aug 22, 2011

Too sad.

1:36AM PDT on Aug 20, 2011

No wonder we can't control the bugs they're killing their
natural predator the frogs.

4:47PM PDT on Aug 19, 2011

so sad, frogs are amazing creatures

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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