LANGLEY, BC - American bullfrogs as big as chickens
are multiplying rapidly in British Columbia, causing headaches for
homeowners and environmentalists trying to control the population.
The frogs were imported into the province in the 1930s to supply
restaurants with gourmet frogs' legs. When the industry failed, the
frogs were released into the wild and caused no problem for decades.
past 15 years, though, they started to breed rapidly, take over
habitat throughout the southwest B.C. and devour native frogs to the
point where the red-legged frog is now an endangered species.
are as big as chickens
Caroline Astley of Langley's Environmental Partners Society says
her group helped residents trap frogs and scoop tadpoles out of
ponds for years.
Now the society's government funding has been cut because the
bullfrogs aren't putting anyone in immediate danger, and that means
residents are on their own.
Astley says the invasive species still needs to be eradicated
because of the threat it poses to other animals.
"They'll eat fish that are there. They'll eat salamanders.
They'll eat pretty much anything in their path," she says. "They'll
take ducklings as well."
On the surface, Karen MacGregor's cat Boots looks like a frisky
But one step too close to the Langley household's pond transforms
her into one cautious cat, thanks to an unfortunate encounter three
MacGregor and Boots
"She was sitting on the edge of this pond right beside this big
bullfrog and I said, 'Boots, don't go near that bullfrog,'" says
MacGregor. "I turned and went into the barn, and just a second or so
later, she came hobbling in. She was crying and crying and dragging
her hind leg. She was soaking wet and I knew the bullfrog had got
Bullfrogs are still causing trouble in the MacGregor pond.
"They've killed the fish," MacGregor says. "We put 100 fish in
there and all but one are gone."
Written by CBC News Online staff