Friday, May 1, 2009

Project Frog, gaining momentum in Goa

The Goan pitch to save frogs from the taste-buds of poachers in Goa seems to be gaining momentum by the day with the forest department endeavouring to spread the message of the ills caused due to frog reduction in Goa

Experts are out explaining about the numerous bio-indicators which prove that frogs which are a major part of Goan bio-diversity are facing an imminent threat to their very existence. The alarm is caused due to the dramatic drop in the frog population in the state owing to the lusty eyes of frog poachers who are being blamed for the current fall in their numbers.

Although there are no numbers to support the claim of the declines, experts opine that there are enough bio-indicators to point towards the fact that there is a threat to this species in Goa.

The bio-indicators are increase in malaria cases in Goa, increase in snakes venturing into human inhabitation in search of food. Frogs are considered to play a major role in the control of insects such as mosquitoes which are known to spread malaria and other crop damaging insects.

Wild Goa, a network of wildlife lovers in Goa are therefore currently working with the forest department that has launched a 'save frogs from extinction" campaign. WildGoa explains that the catching of frogs before thy mate not only kills the frog but also kills an entire generation of unborn tadpoles. The irony is that frog-poachers normally hunt for the big frogs who are the ones most likely to spawn the most number of eggs.

The Goa civic and consumer action network (GOACAN) has also lent its might to the campaign to save frogs and said that they would reach out to the people through the gram panchayats to spread the awareness and so co-ordinate with the police and the forest department to enforce the law.

The forest department has also resorted to spreading the message through the medium of spirituality as a means of stopping people from killing frogs. In this medium, the forest department has published colourful leaflets which sate" Frogs are believed to be incarnation of Goddess laxmi and are known to bring prosperity and rains. besides Monsoons is mating, breeding, multiplying, feeding, recruitment season for many species of frogs. It is during this time they become the victim of their biggest predator - man.

The awareness programme also states that consumption of frogs over a period of time could trigger paralytic strokes, cancers, kidney failures and other deformities. The educative information highlights the positive role played by frogs in preventing vector borne diseases and their killing is considered to be an ecological crime against the food chain

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