Indian bullfrogs take to invasive behaviour early in Andaman

Mains Paper 3 : Conservation, Environmental Pollution & Degradation, Eia |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Indian Bullfrog

Mains level : Not Much


News

  • Indian bullfrogs introduced in the Andaman islands are invasive, and eat native wildlife including fish and lizards.

Indian Bullfrog

  • The Indian bullfrog Hoplobatrachus tigerinus (native to the Indian subcontinent) has rapidly invaded the Andaman islands after it was introduced there in the early 2000s.
  • In human-dominated areas, it now shares space with other native (and often endemic) frog species.
  • The bullfrogs are prolific breeders: they have short breeding seasons, and each egg clutch can contain up to 5,750 eggs.
  • Its tadpoles are carnivorous and eat other tadpoles (including their own species).

Invasive nature

  • Now, experiments reveal that the frogs take to this invasive behaviour early in their lives.
  • Even in the developmental stages, the large bullfrog tadpoles eat other native frog tadpoles.
  • The survival of both endemic frog tadpoles reduced to zero when bullfrog tadpoles were present.
  • The proportion of bullfrog tadpoles surviving was greater in the presence of both endemic frog tadpoles.
  • This is worrying because other native frog species – many of which are only being described – could also be affected.
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