Indian bull frog: the Andamans’ new colonisers

The Indian bullfrog

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Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Indian bullfrog (Hoplobatrachus tigerinus), Indian Wildlife Act 1972, Convention on Biological Diversity, IUCN

Mains level: Invasive species and threat posed by them on native species and biodiversity


News

New frog species

  1. A recent migrant to the Andaman island is the Indian bullfrog (Hoplobatrachus tigerinus)
  2. The bullfrog is found widely in mainland India and protected under Schedule IV of the Indian Wildlife Act 1972
  3. It is steadily occupying the islands’ ecosystem and threatening the local economy

Man-Frog conflict

  1. The voracious animal gulps down anything that would fit in its jaws: centipedes, leeches, native frogs, lizards, small snakes, and even chicks and ducklings, which are an important source of food for the islanders
  2. An unusual man-frog conflict is brewing due to this

Why are bullfrogs a threat on islands?

  1. Bullfrogs are found all over mainland India, but it is in the unique ecosystem of the islands that it becomes a major threat
  2. Unlike the mainland, resources on the islands are scarce for big animals, while natural calamities are more frequent
  3. The wildlife here has evolved in a miniature setting: there are no large herbivores (the largest is the Andaman wild pig) or large carnivores

Focus on invasive species

  1. Globally, invasive species, particularly in islands, are becoming the focus of numerous organisations
  2. The Convention on Biological Diversity has said that invasives have contributed to 40% of all animal extinctions since the 17th century
  3. The IUCN has formulated guidelines for managing invasives specifically in islands, largely involving data collection, community engagement, policy measures and management plans
New Species of Plants and Animals Discovered
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