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Frog Poaching has become rampant in Monsoon to meet tourists’ demand in Goa

The food markets in Panaji and Margao are oblivious to the fact that poaching of frogs is illegal under the Wildlife Protection Act

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  • Frog meat is considered a common delicacy in Goa
  • Wide scale poaching continues even though frogs are protected under Wildlife Conservation Act
  • Poachers use ‘Mountain Chicken’ as code word for frogs while smuggling

People in Goa claim they have been feeding on frog meat since old ages as tradition to their culture. Frog meat is also common among the tourists who frequent Goa, especially the Russians and Spaniards. With a spurring demand for frogs which is only heightened during the months of monsoon, environment officials are citing growing concern regarding food chains.

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frog meat
Tourists in Goa, Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Ajay Saxena, Goa’s Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, calls this practice unnatural. “People in Goa claim that eating frog meat is a tradition. I don’t understand what kind of tradition is there when you are disturbing an food chain,” he said in his speech in Panaji on the occasion of World Environment Day, June 5.

Poaching of frogs is illegal under the Wildlife Protection Act. But even with legal protection being provided for the frogs, it is of little help since poachers have become adept at what they do. Bringing in frog meat from the district of Uttar Kannada, these poachers are posing a dangerous threat to the stability of ecosystems. Frog meat is often referred to as ‘Mountain Chicken’ or ‘Jumping Chicken’, which serve as code words for its cross border smuggling.

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The food markets in Panaji and Margao, however, seem to be oblivious to this fact. This is because poachers often bypass the markets and serve directly hotels and restaurants, and are paid by the size of the frogs.

Poaching, smuggling and trade of wildlife accounts to over $290 billion all over the world, only next to drug smuggling.

Meanwhile, environmentalists have another concern. With numbers of frogs drastically reducing, snakes and pythons, which are their main predators, may soon start penetrating into human settlements in search of food.

-Written by Saurabh Bodas. Saurabh is an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: saurabhbodas96

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  • Pashchiema Bhatia

    This might disturb the ecosystem as well. Reduction in frog population might increase the number of snakes in the area. Moreover, it is illegal. The government would have to take strict actions for the implementation of this ban.

  • Paras Vashisth

    Poaching of frogs is illegal. The continue declination of frogs disturbing the food chain and as a result it might effect the life of other wild animals like reptiles.
    SAVE THE FROGS!!

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Yes! this will affect the ecosystem. The ecosystem works on each other’s existence. Disturbing even the finest element could affect the environment. This should be stopped and looked after.

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  • Pashchiema Bhatia

    This might disturb the ecosystem as well. Reduction in frog population might increase the number of snakes in the area. Moreover, it is illegal. The government would have to take strict actions for the implementation of this ban.

  • Paras Vashisth

    Poaching of frogs is illegal. The continue declination of frogs disturbing the food chain and as a result it might effect the life of other wild animals like reptiles.
    SAVE THE FROGS!!

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Yes! this will affect the ecosystem. The ecosystem works on each other’s existence. Disturbing even the finest element could affect the environment. This should be stopped and looked after.

Next Story

Monitoring Method May Help To Conserve Lions in India

In the new study, Keshab Gogoi and his colleagues have demonstrated an alternative method for monitoring Asiatic lions

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Lions
Conserving this sub-specie of lions with the use of best scientific methods is a global priority and responsibility, according to authors of the study from the Wildlife Institute of India (WII). Pixabay

An alternative method of monitoring endangered lions in India can help improve estimates of their numbers and also in making informed conservation policy and management decisions.

New conservation practices have helped increase the number of Asiatic lions from 50 to 500 in the Gir Forests of Gujarat.

Accurate estimates are needed for better conservation efforts, according to a study published in the journal PLOS ONE.

The existing methods, particularly a technique known as total counts, can miss some and double-count others. Also, they provide limited information on the spatial density.

Conserving this sub-specie of lions with the use of best scientific methods is a global priority and responsibility, according to authors of the study from the Wildlife Institute of India (WII).

In the new study, Keshab Gogoi and his colleagues have demonstrated an alternative method for monitoring Asiatic lions.

“Our research addresses this priority by developing a robust approach to their population assessment and monitoring, which can be used for all lion populations across the world,” said an author.

Gogoi and colleagues used whisker patterns and permanent body marks to identify lions using a computer programme, and analysed the data with a mathematical modelling method known as ‘spatially explicit capture recapture’ to estimate the lion density.

They also assessed the prey density and other factors that could influence the lion density.

Lion, Predator, Dangerous, Mane, Big Cat, Male, Zoo
An alternative method of monitoring endangered lions in India can help improve estimates of their numbers and also in making informed conservation policy and management decisions. Pixabay

The researchers identified 67 lions of the 368 sightings within the 725 sq km study area in the Gir Forests, estimating an overall density of 8.53 lions per 100 sq km. They found the prey density didn’t appear to influence the lion density variations in the study area.

The lion density was higher in the flat valley habitats (as opposed to rugged or elevated areas) and near sites where food had been placed to attract lions for tourists to see them.

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The study suggests that baiting lions for tourism affects their natural density patterns, in line with other researches that baiting disrupts lion behaviour and social dynamics.

The authors said the alternative monitoring method could be used to assess lions across their range (in India and Africa) and better conservation efforts. (IANS)