More frog legs Madame? Monsieur? A very popular appetizer in France and also in Belgium. Who would have ever dreamed that this "delicacy" would have global implications? But the global demand for these little creatures is pushing them into extinction.

Each year billions of frogs are either captured from the wild or are being farmed to be sold as food to restaurants or markets. Most of these frog farms can be found in Asia, in countries such as Indonesia Bangladesh, Malaysia, and India. The main problem with this international frog trade is that it is also affecting frogs in the wild who play an important role in the environment and in controlling human diseases such as malaria, and encephalitis. They do this by eating disease spreading insects such as mosquitos.

Wild frogs are being killed off by the spread of the chytrid fungus. This fungus has already killed one hundred million frogs and has already driven some wild species into extinction. Recently a study in the U.S. estimated that 62 percent of the bullfrogs entering California from Asian frog farms were infected with the chytrid fungus. Bullfrogs are perfect carriers for this deadly fungus.

Also because of the huge demand in western Europe, frogs in Indonesia and other Asian countries may be driven into extinction because of those countries trying to satisfy the demand. Europe does not allow harvesting of frogs for consumption there because of the huge decline of native frog species, but they are not above importing from the Asian countries. Therefore the decline of many frog species are being endangered globally by just a handful of countries in Europe.

So what just seemed like just another tasty appetizer on your plate is actually causing global implications for the health of our planet and the human population also. Those who are consumers of frog legs must take all of this into consideration as this situation cannot be allowed to continue without dire consequences.

"Frogs are survivors, making peace with two worlds. And yet they are so sensitive. Whatever happens to the environment in which a frog population lives will be soon apparent in the frogs themselves. They are a litmus for pollution, poor little frogs. They are so beautiful and come in so many sizes and colours. When they leap, they just leap! Nothing graceful, just a big flop, arms and legs akimbo, flying haphazardly through the air. And sometimes they get a lot of bugs. And sometimes they don't."

Responses to "Are our appetites forcing frogs into extinction?"

  1. Anonymous says:

    I hate people eating frogs...

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