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The French eat so many frogs’ legs, one species might go extinct

Published Mar 15th, 2024 3:18PM EDT
African Clawed-frog in water
Image: Nathan / Adobe

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A popular French delicacy may very well be driving some species to extinction. The delicacy in question? frog legs. Now, a group of more than 500 environmental campaigners have issued a warning to French President Emmanual Macron.

According to an open letter sent to the French President this month, environmental campaigners claim that more than 4,070 tons of frozen frog legs have been imported into the European Union every year. That equates to roughly 80 to 200 million frogs, depending on the size of the species (via CNN).

The concern that these environmentalists have raised mostly centers around a study completed by Robin des Bios and Pro Wildlife, which says that France alone consumes more than 3,000 tons of the delicacy every year. Now, the environmentalists are calling on France to shoulder the responsibility of protecting frog species due to its love for frog legs.

African clawed frog underwater in a clear mountain stream
Some common species of frogs are starting to struggle as humans continue to harvest them for their body parts. Image source: Dewald / Adobe

The environmental impact of the French’s appetite for this strange delicacy is causing several common species of frog to decline in numbers, the letter claims. The affected species include the rice-field frog as well as the crab-eating frog.

What’s most intriguing about this issue is that frog populations native to the European Union are actually protected against “commercial exploitation.” But, that protection doesn’t extend to species not native to the region. As such, the importation of frog legs has become an extremely popular market.

Environmentalists have now called on France to protect the declining number of frog species and to ensure that there is better monitoring and regulation of the importation of this delicacy into the country. Whether or not the letter will have an effect remains to be seen.

This, of course, isn’t the first time that humanity has driven a species close to the edge of extinction. The buffalo is another species of animal that has struggled due to overconsumption by humans. Companies are even trying to revive extinct Tasmanian tigers to undo the part humanity played in the species’ extinction.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.