London, Jan 20 (ANI): It is known that factors like disease, global warming and a changing habitat are endangering amphibians, but now, conservationists are warning that frogs might also be at risk of being 'eaten to extinction'.
Gastronomic demand is reducing regional populations of amphibians to the point of no return.
David Bickford of the National University of Singapore and his colleagues as calling for additional monitoring and regulation of the global frog meat market in order to avoid the species being "eaten to extinction."
Data regarding imports and exports of frog legs is sparse, as only a small number of countries monitor the amount of domestic harvesting and consumption of the meat.
However, United Nations figures show that global trade has increased in the past two decades, with France and the United States the two largest importers.
Indeed, between 2,500 and 4,000 tons of frog meat were imported each year from France alone since 1995.
Frog legs are also very popular in Asia, where Bickford estimates that 180 million to over a billion frogs are harvested annually.
"That is based on both sound data and an estimate of local consumption for just Indonesia and China," New Scientist quoted Bickford, as saying.
"The actual number, I suspect, is quite a bit larger and my 180 million bare minimum is almost laughably conservative," he added
Bickford said the fact that European kitchens are now importing frog meat from Asia suggests the local populations are over-harvested.
These kitchens originally found their own supplies in the surrounding countryside.
The scientists said this could be an indication that frogs, like some fish populations, will be harvested to near extinction.
"Overexploitation in the seas has caused a chain reaction of fisheries collapses around the world. This experience should motivate better management of other exploited wild populations," the authors said. (ANI)