Human Consumption of Frog Legs Might Cause Frogs to Go Extinct
Humans are overindulging in frog legs according to recent research. Scinetists suspect that anywhere between 200 million to 1 billion of frog legs are consumed each year. This has detrimental effects on frog populations and might lead to the extinction of many frog species. Human consumption is not the only variable in the extinction equation, however. Climate change and habit destruction are also significant threats to frog species survival. Scientists are worried that extinction of frog species might ruin global food chains and result in uncontrolled insect infestations.
The global trade in frog legs for human consumption is threatening their extinction, according to a new study by an international team including University of Adelaide researchers.
"Amphibians are already the most threatened animal group yet assessed because of disease, habitat loss and climate change - man's massive appetite for their legs is not helping."
The annual global trade in frogs for human consumption has increased over the past 20 years with at least 200 million and maybe over 1 billion frogs consumed every year.
"The frogs' legs global market has shifted from seasonal harvest for local consumption to year-round international trade," says Associate Professor Bradshaw.
Prof Bradshaw said frogs were eaten everywhere from school cafeterias to exclusive restaurants.
He said frog numbers were suffering because there was now year-round demand for sauteed frogs legs, previously a seasonal dish, in restaurants across the world.
Prof Bradshaw said frogs played a vital role in almost all eco-systems and that something needed to be done by humans now to prevent a devastating "chain reaction".
"Absence of essential data to monitor and manage the wild harvest is a large concern."