Kendrapara, August 21 (LocalWire): The population of various species of frogs has been decreasing rapidly in the coastal district of Kendrapara and other parts of the state due to the conversion of many ponds, marshy lands and other water bodies into homesteads.
Many snakes rely on frogs as part of their diet. Ponds and other water bodies are the natural habitat of frogs.
Due to the shortage of frogs to eat, starving snakes venture out from their abodes and enter the nearby villages in search of food and bite human beings.
Frogs are also found in agricultural fields, but pesticides and fertilizer are also responsible for killing frogs.
“Frogs form a vital lifeline for ecosystems and their removal threatens the survival of snakes.
They also control the insect population,” said Dr Basudev Tripathy, a senior scientist and the deputy director of Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), Kolkata.
A decrease in the frog population disturbs the food chain for the snakes.
The hungry snakes come out of the forest and bushy areas in search of food and kill domestic animals and human beings, added Tripathy.
“Three decades ago, during the rainy season, millions of baby frogs used to roam in the villages and fields.
But now, only a few frog hatchlings can be seen.
The disappearance of frogs can disturb an intricate food web with cascading effects felt throughout an entire ecosystem,” said Hemant Kumar Rout an environmentalist and the secretary of Gahiramatha Marine Turtle and Mangrove Conservation Society of Kendrapara.
In the financial year 2019-20, around 325 people in the state died of snakebites.
Most of the snake bite cases are reported in rural areas as hundreds of ponds and other water bodies have disappeared across the state due to the government’s lack of concern and increasing real estate activity, added Rout.
“We used to hear the croaking sound of male frogs in the night when frogs called out to female frogs for mating during our childhood.
But now-a-days it is impossible to hear mating calls of male frogs due to destruction of the habitats of frogs,” said Banshidhar Rout a school teacher of Rajnagar.