Giant Bullfrogs Invade Canada
Reuters, July 26, 2000
Baseball-size bullfrogs are invading large areas of British Columbia and endangering native species with their hearty appetites, according to a Canadian biologist. The intruding Rana Catesbeiana, more commonly known as the American Bullfrog, is the largest frog in North America with females weighing up to 24.5 ounces. University of Victoria biologist Purnima Govindarajulu, probing the sudden increase in the number of bullfrogs, said the voracious predators are threatening delicate aquatic ecosystems in Victoria, Duncan, Nanaimo and Parksville.
The main problem is that bullfrogs eat other frogs and snakes as well as insects, fish, mice, and young birds. Actually they'll eat whatever they can fit into their huge mouths, Govindarajulu told Reuters. Bullfrogs are naturally only found in eastern parts of North America. It is believed they were brought to the west coast by people who wanted to sell them as a delicacy or as live ornaments for garden pools. They were first noted in the 1940s but their numbers did not explode until the early 1990s. To find out more about presence and number of bullfrogs in British Columbia the biologist is looking for volunteers who lend a listening ear and spot out the invaders. It's easy to identify them in summer because they have a loud breeding call.