The global frog trade may not have the same notoriety as blood diamonds or illegal logging.
But according to a new report, our ravenous appetite for consuming garlic drenched frogs' legs is driving them to extinction and could have a major impact on bio-diversity.
The unsustainable demand for those chewy limbs is also leading to the spread of a fungus called chytrid, which kills frogs in droves along with other amphibious populations.
"Billions of frogs are traded internationally each year for human consumption, and that industry is responsible for depleting wild populations, spreading deadly disease, and allowing invasive species to destroy the health of native ecosystems," said Alejandra Goyenechea, director of international conservation programmes for Defenders of Wildlife.
With frog farms cropping up across Asia, some of those frogs contract a fungus, which then spreads to natural wild frog populations when imported to the US and Europe, the trade's two biggest markets.
In “Canapés to Extinction: The International Trade in Frogs' Legs and Its Ecological Impact,”scientists also point how "farming of nonnative species may cause serious ecological problems if those species are released or escape and become invasive" and "as has been documented for several frog species that have been farmed for food."
Commissioned by Defenders of Wildlife, The Animal Welfare Institute and Pro-WildLife, the report coincides with the 39th annual Foire aux Grenouilles where thousands of food lovers descend on Vittel, France to eat up to seven tonnes of frogs legs dipped in everything from garlic and cream to butter.
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