Human Appetites Driving Frogs to Extinction

An international team of scientists have added human consumption to the long list of things already threatening global frog populations, the BBC reported in January. A new study, published in the journal Conservation Biology, found that upwards of one billion frogs may be captured from the wild for this purpose every year, with France and the United States being the two largest importers.

Commonly thought of as only a French delicacy, frogs' legs are actually more broadly consumed, appearing in some European school cafeterias and being popular in Asia. Researchers have found that the trade has increased over the past 20 years.

Corey Bradshaw, a senior scientist with the South Australian Research and Development Institute and one of the study's authors, named Indonesia the biggest exporter of frogs. Unfortunately, data necessary for the conservation of frogs in Indonesia is lacking. It is almost impossible to know which species are being traded and whether they are endangered.

Frogs and other amphibians are at additional risk
of extinction from climate change, habitat loss, pollution, and a highly infectious and uncontrollable disease called chytridiomycosis, which has been known to wipe out entire populations.