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Conserving the Indian bull frog

Actor and director Rajit Kapur is one of the few actors who consciously moved away from the glamour of cinema and television to follow his true calling – theatre. In a


Goa will soon receive the South West monsoons in their full fledged glory, bringing joy and abundance to both plant as well as animal life.

The early showers of this year’s monsoons will also see activity amongst frogs and toads, who will rise from their dormancy and spread across fields, ponds and the countryside to breed as per their annual cycle of breeding and laying eggs. But it will sadly be a sign for frog catchers, who pull on their gumboots and torches for yet another systematic illegal massacre of Indian Bull frogs, across the state, now an almost annual event for past decade or so.

Indian Bull frogs, more commonly and sadly known by us Goans, as ‘jumping chicken’ are on the verge of local extinction. But these are considered a flagship species of all Indian amphibians globally, and are an important link in any pond, river, and field or grassland ecosystem. Being the largest of its family, this species is distinguished by its large size and tiger like striped pattern on the body and limbs.

Once abundant in a variety of habitats that ranged from open grasslands and agriculture fields to ponds, lakes and streams, the Indian Bull frog is now declining in almost all its earlier locales due to the large scale indiscriminate slaughter of this species in the state.

The survival of this species is essential as it is an important link in the web of life for every ecosystem. This species in fact also plays the role of a bio pest and insect controller due to it feeding habits and was once largely responsible for curbing the populations of mosquitoes and their larvae.

The Indian bull frog is protected under the Wildlife Protection Act and offenders cane be fined with a fine up to Rs 25,000 as well as imprisoned or up to 3 years. This monsoons, on behalf of wildlife conservationists and researchers I appeal to every individual nature lover and sensible Goan amongst us to be vigilant and report instances of frog poaching to the nearest Forest office or Police station for action. Besides which, it should also be brought to the notice of the Forest Department of any establishment that serves illegal frog meat on their menu, as this will help stop the demand of the poached frogs.

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