Monday, December 1, 2008

The Winning Frog Essay

Why Frogs are Endangered

Frogs are a rapidly declining species. There are many reasons why frogs numbers are waning everywhere. Frogs are a crucial part of the eco-system. They eat vermin such as cockroaches, mosquitoes, rats, flies, and arachnids. They are also a good source for many other animals. If a frog is in poor health it is usually caused by pollution in its’ habitat. This warns scientists about the degree of pollution. The many reasons frogs are endangered include pollution, rainforest decline, the introduction of feral animals into their environment, and the human consumption of frogs legs.
Pollution affects all frogs, stopping frogs from breeding, causing birth defects (missing eyes and limbs and more). Environmental contamination takes a heavy toll on all frogs. Pollutants kill frogs, when frogs die it alters the food chain, this means other animals face death as well. Frogs are a great food source for a variety of creatures.

Four out of five of the world’s population of frogs are found in rainforests all around the world. Frogs thrive in rainforests. Rainforests are the fastest disappearing natural habitat where frogs are found. In The Amazon Rainforest big companies like McDonalds clear over two football fields of forest each day, for grazing cattle. Rainforests are cut for farming, and industrial reasons, this is devastating frog numbers. Because of habitat loss many frogs take refuge in residential areas and find homes in garden ponds. However there are many dangers for frogs in populated places, like cats, dogs, roads, and pollution.

Introducing foreign animals such as the cane toad and gambusia, feral dogs, and cats, has brought disaster to many frogs. Cane toads were brought into Australia from South America to eat the sugar cane beetles and silver back beetles that were eating farming crops. After they had wiped out the cane beetles and silver backs, they turned on the native animals and started killing wildlife such as frogs. Gambusia are a foreign species of fish that only eat tadpoles and some small fish. The Golden Bell Frog is a great example of the effect of the Gambusia fish, one of the main reason Golden Bell Frogs are critically endangered is because gambusia eat their tadpoles. Feral cats and dogs, as well as domesticated ones, like to catch frogs and torture them. Cats eat frogs, but dogs very rarely eat them.

Another threat to these particular amphibian creatures is human hunting. Frogs legs are considered a delicacy in France, Korea and Vietnam, in parts of China, the Mid West and Southern parts of the United States, Portugal, North West Greece, and the Caribbean. Kerala is a city in Korea where frog legs are commonly found in liquor shops. They are usually fried. This dish is actually banned so it is only available illegally, but it is still threatening frogs. People hunt frogs by canoeing out onto a river, pond, or lake, shining a torch along the shore to try and catch sight of the light reflecting in the eyes of frogs. Once they have spotted the frog they will paddle closer and spear the frog in its’ back. This is otherwise known as “gigging”. Then they put the frogs in a basket to drain the water and blood away. Frog legs are sold fresh or preserved in air tight packages.

These are just a few of the major problems facing frog species today. Whilst public awareness of these problems is growing, and some people are actively working to save frogs and their environment from extinction, not enough is being done. Many people aren’t aware of the crucial part that frogs play in the eco-system. If frogs become entirely extinct it could ruin the entire food chain, creating a massive natural disaster. It is vital that all countries work together to save frogs and their natural habitats so that we can continue to study them, and enjoy them.