The European Market Remains the Largest Consumer of Frogs’ Legs from Wild Species
|Country||Period||Species in Trade||Volume of Trade||Ecological Impact of Trade|
|India||1960s–1980s||Export of 39,502 tonnes 1963–1983, i.e., roughly 1881 tonnes/year, with a peak in 1981||Serious decline of wild frog populations resulted in increase in pests and related increase in pesticide use|
|Bangladesh||1970s–1980s||Export of 7519 tonnes of frogs’ legs 1977–1984, i.e., roughly 1253 tonnes/year||Serious decline of wild frog populations|
|Indonesia||1990s–present (shifting from island to island, as populations become depleted)||Export peak in the 1990s with 5600 tonnes/year, declining to 3800 tonnes in 1992|
Largest supplier to the EU with ~3000 tonnes/year (2010–2019) (cf. Figure 1)
|L. macrodon almost vanished from EU imports, regional declines of other frog species indicated; sharp increase in pesticides since 2002|
|Turkey||1990s–present||Annual exports almost 700 tonnes/year (cf. );|
3rd largest supplier for the EU with ~1593 tonnes/year (2010–2019) (cf. Figure 1)
|Wild frog populations decimated by c. 20% per year; likely extinction in c. 2032 if over-exploitation is not stopped;|
P. caralitanus considered as Endangered
|Albania||2000s–present||4th largest supplier for the EU with ~59 tonnes/year (2010–2019) (cf. Figure 1)||main threats for native frogs are over-exploitation and invasive frog species, introduced for commerce|
|Vietnam||2000s–present||2nd largest supplier for the EU with imports of ~844 tonnes/year (2010–2019) (cf. Figure 1)||Frog farms are continuously restocked with wild-caught individuals|
2. Europe’s Hunger for Frogs’ Legs—A Threat to Biodiversity
3. Essential Considerations for a Sustainable Trade of Frogs’ Legs
- Before implementing a monitored sustainable trade of species and populations, the viability of these must be ensured to afford prescribed numbers for offtake; if necessary, some previously intensively used populations would need to be temporarily suspended from trade.
- Ensure full transparency in trade data and taxonomic certainty in detailed trade records at the species level. This will probably require DNA barcoding of shipments in the trade.
- Identify geographical origin of wild and captive bred frogs to assess impacts on native communities and disease transmission.
- List all trade-relevant species in legal codes and regulations, including the EU wildlife trade regulation 338/97 and in cooperation with exporting countries in CITES Appendix II.
- Promote accurate and scientific population monitoring of harvested species, complying with non-detriment findings (NDFs) of CITES.
- Develop and implement a centralised wildlife trade database for the EU and biosecurity measures along the trade chain to prevent the spread disease.
- Maintain IUCN Red List assessments up to date for trade-relevant species and evaluate them according to the impact that trade may have on harvested populations and species.
- Implement standardised certification schemes for frog farms to avoid negative local and regional ecological impacts.
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
- Hughes, A.C.; Marshall, B.M.; Strine, C.T. Gaps in global wildlife trade monitoring leave amphibians vulnerable. eLife 2021, 10, e70086. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- CITES. Conference of the Parties. Available online: https://cites.org/eng/meetings/cop (accessed on 12 August 2022).
- Auliya, M.; Altherr, S.; Nithart, C.; Hughes, A.; Bickford, D. Numerous uncertainties in the multifaceted global trade in frogs’ legs with the EU as the major consumer. 2022. Available online: https://goto.arphahub.com/Y35pKsRD7MeT (accessed on 2 October 2022).
- Altherr, S.; Auliya, M.; Nithart, C. Deadly Dish—Role and Responsibility of the European Union in the International Frogs’ Legs Trade. Report by Pro Wildlife & Robin des Bois. 2022. Available online: https://www.prowildlife.de/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/DEADLY-DISH-frogs-legs-report.pdf (accessed on 15 August 2022).
- Altherr, S.; Goyenechea, A.; Schubert, D.J. Canapés to Extinction—The International Trade in Frogs’ Legs and Its Ecological Impact. Report by Pro Wildlife, Defenders of Wildlife, and the Animal Welfare Institute. 2011. Available online: https://defenders.org/sites/default/files/publications/canapes_to_extinction.pdf (accessed on 17 July 2022).
- Prihandiani, A.; Bella, D.R.; Chairani, N.R.; Winarto, Y.; Fox, J. The tsunami of pesticide use for rice production on Java and its consequences. Asia Pac. J. Anthrop. 2021, 22, 276–297. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Islam, A.; Phil, M. Impact of Pesticides on Amphibians: A Review. J. Toxicol. Anal. 2018, 1, 3. [Google Scholar]
- EUROSTAT. Import data frogs’ legs, 2010-2019 (Commodity group 0208 90 70). 2021. Available online: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/de/data/database (accessed on 10 August 2022).
- EU Commission. A European Green Deal—Striving to Be the First Climate-Neutral Continent. 2020. Available online: https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/european-green-deal_en (accessed on 12 July 2022).
- EU Commission. Biodiversity Strategy for 2030. 2020. Available online: https://environment.ec.europa.eu/strategy/biodiversity-strategy-2030_en (accessed on 3 July 2022).
- Auliya, M.; García-Moreno, J.; Schmidt, B.R.; Schmeller, D.S.; Hoogmoed, M.S.; Fisher, M.C.; Pasmans, F.; Henle, K.; Bickford, D.; Martel, A. The global amphibian trade flows through Europe: The need for enforcing and improving legislation. Biodiv. Cons. 2016, 25, 2581–2595. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Borzée, A.; Kielgast, J.; Wren, S.; Angulo, A.; Chen, S.; Magellan, K.; Messenger, K.R.; Hansen-Hendrikx, C.M.; Baker, A.; Dos Santos, M.M.; et al. Using the 2020 global pandemic as a springboard to highlight the need for amphibian conservation in eastern Asia. Biol. Cons. 2021, 255, 108973. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Ruykys, L.; Ta, K.A.T.; Bui, T.D.; Vilizzi, L.; Copp, G.H. Risk screening of the potential invasiveness of non-native aquatic species in Vietnam. Biol. Invas. 2021, 23, 2047–2060. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Çiçek, K.; Ayaz, D.; Afsar, M.; Bayrakci, Y.; Pekşen, C.A.; Cumhuriyet, O.; Ismael, I.B.; Yenmiş, M.; Üstündağ, E.; Tok, C.V.; et al. Unsustainable harvest of water frogs in southern Turkey for the European market. Oryx 2021, 55, 364–372. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Ohler, A.; Nicolas, V. Which frog’s legs do froggies eat? The use of DNA barcoding for identification of deep-frozen frog legs (Dicroglossidae, Amphibia) commercialized in France. Eur. J. Taxon 2017, 271, 1–19. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Convention on Biological Diversity. Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020, Including Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Available online: https://www.cbd.int/sp/ (accessed on 9 August 2022).
- IPBES. Information on Scoping for the Thematic Assessment of Sustainable Use of Wild Species; [IPBES/6/INF/8, deliverable 3 (b) (iii)]; IPBES: Medellin, Colombia, 2018; Available online: https://ipbes.net/resource-file/13822. (accessed on 27 August 2022).
- IPBES. Summary for Policymakers of the Thematic Assessment of the Sustainable Use of Wild Species of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. Advance Unedited Version—7 July 2022. 2022. Available online: https://zenodo.org/record/6810036#.Ys7MeXZByUl (accessed on 27 August 2022).
- IPBES. Summary for Policymakers of the Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. 2019. Available online: https://zenodo.org/record/3553579#.YvoA-y35wQ8 (accessed on 29 July 2022).
Disclaimer/Publisher’s Note: The statements, opinions and data contained in all publications are solely those of the individual author(s) and contributor(s) and not of MDPI and/or the editor(s). MDPI and/or the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to people or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content.
© 2023 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Auliya, M.; Altherr, S.; Hughes, A.; Nithart, C.; Ohler, A.; Bickford, D. The European Market Remains the Largest Consumer of Frogs’ Legs from Wild Species. Conservation 2023, 3, 53-58. https://doi.org/10.3390/conservation3010004
Auliya M, Altherr S, Hughes A, Nithart C, Ohler A, Bickford D. The European Market Remains the Largest Consumer of Frogs’ Legs from Wild Species. Conservation. 2023; 3(1):53-58. https://doi.org/10.3390/conservation3010004Chicago/Turabian Style
Auliya, Mark, Sandra Altherr, Alice Hughes, Charlotte Nithart, Annemarie Ohler, and David Bickford. 2023. "The European Market Remains the Largest Consumer of Frogs’ Legs from Wild Species" Conservation 3, no. 1: 53-58. https://doi.org/10.3390/conservation3010004