Special Correspondent

Indiscriminate killing of frogs has resulted in drastic decline in their numbers Indiscriminate killing of frogs has resulted in drastic decline in their population

Frogs are a protected species under Wildlife ActConsumption of frog meat over a period of time said to cause health problems

PANAJI: The Goa Government has banned the catching, killing and selling of frogs and serving of frog meat in eateries.

Indiscriminate killing of frogs for meat has caused a drastic decline in their population. As there has been a spurt in frog meat being served during the monsoon, with many restaurants subtly advertising the availability of an "exotic dish of jumping chicken," the wildlife protection machinery has issued a stern warning that any action that contravenes the provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 could attract stringent punishment with fine and imprisonment. Frogs are a protected species under the Act.

People's help sought

In view of the ban imposed by Union Government on the catching, killing and export of frogs, the Chief Wildlife Warden, Goa, has sought people's cooperation to protect frogs, said a spokesman of the State Government on Tuesday.

Sources in the State's health services have added a serious dimension to the issue. They warned the people that consumption of frog meat over a period of time could, among other things, trigger paralytic strokes, cancer and kidney failure.

Environmental activists point out that frogs mainly feed on insects, and hence insects and vectors responsible for various diseases such as malaria, filaria and encephalitis are kept under control.

Monsoon is the time when many species of frogs breed. Killing of frogs affects the balance of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, say environmentalists.

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