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.
The researchers say the global pattern of harvesting and decline of wild populations of frogs appears to be following the same path set by overexploitation of the seas and subsequent "chain reaction" of fisheries collapses around the world.
The researchers have called for mandatory certification of frog harvests to improve monitoring and help the development of sustainable harvest strategies.
Lots of frog eating going on.
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. Only a fraction of the total trade is assessed in world trade figures.
The overharvesting comes on top of habitat loss due to increased human populations, industrialization, and spread of a killer chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd).
Where Bd thrives, generally moist cool habitats, 50% of amphibian species and 80% of individuals can be expected to disappear within 1 year (Lips et al. 2006; www.amphibianark.org/Lips%20et%20al%202006.pdf). Currently it cannot be stopped in the wild and a minority of species seem able to survive with a Bd infection as larvae or as adults and these animals likely serve as a reservoir and vectors for future outbreaks. Notable among resistant species are worldwide invasive pest species including marine toads, American bullfrogs and African clawed frogs.
|Share |||Randall Parker, 2009 January 21 10:13 PM Trends Extinction|