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Title Unsustainable use of frogs and ecosystem consequences

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Short title Unsustainable use of frogs

Author(s) Mohneke, M.(1); Zongo, B.(2), Boussim, J.L.(2); Zongo, F.(2); Thiombiano, A.(2); Rödel M.-O.(1)

Presenting author Rödel M.-O.

Institution(s) (1) Herpetology, Museum of Natural History, Humboldt University, Berlin; (2) Laboratoire de Biologie et Ecologie Végétales, University of Ouagadougou

Keywords Amphibia; food; sustainability; tadpoles; temporary ponds

Abstract Amphibian species are declining world wide. One of the many reasons for their decline is overexploitation for food, traditional medicine or the pet trade. In West Africa the frog trade currently seems to increase dramatically. It is mainly based on trading frogs for food on a local to national scale. In some regions frogs seem to be an important protein source, that however is declining, most likely due to unsustainable use of large quantities of frogs, mainly the West African Tiger Frog Hoplobatrachus occipitalis.
In this project we examine: if and how people use frogs; if frogs are indeed declining, and if so is such decline causing ecosystem consequences. To address these questions we use semi-structured interviews; field surveys in areas with and without frog harvest; and experiments in which artificial tadpole communities are investigated in their effects on tadpole survival and growth, algal composition and growth, the development of various mosquito larvae and water quality.
We could already detect much more intense frog harvest in southern Burkina Faso and north-western Benin than expected, including intense cross-border trade of frogs from Benin to Nigeria. First experimental runs (2007; summer 2008) revealed considerable differences in tadpole growth, water quality and mosquito larval survival depending on the presence or absence of Hoplobatrachus tadpoles.

Congress Topic Land use, impact and value

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Ref. No. 657