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Miaoli County: Race on in Miaoli to capture bullfrogs, avoid 'ecological disaster'

Miaoli County: Race on in Miaoli to capture bullfrogs, avoid 'ecological disaster'

Miaoli County officials were mobilized yesterday to capture American bullfrogs they released four days ago in several of the county's ecological ponds in a bid to prevent a possible "ecological disaster."

Thirty-six kilograms of American bullfrogs were among the 420 kg of indigenous Rana ragulosa frogs that the county government thought it was releasing into the ponds to promote biodiversity in the county.

Miaoli Biological Society Chairman Hung Wei-feng said the big and loud American bullfrog is dubbed the tyrannosaurus rex of the frog world because it preys on smaller living things, including shrimps, fishes and other frogs and cleans them out.

Hung said it was hard to believe that the two species were confused when released together because they have noticeable differences in their shapes and sounds.

"There could be an unimaginable ecological catastrophe if the American bullfrogs are not removed in time since right now is the time when they lay their eggs. One of them can lay up to 100,000 eggs," he said.

"The negligence of county officials will definitely add just one species of marine life at the cost of several others, " Hung added.

For its part, Miaoli County government said that in addition to trying its best to retrieve the American bullfrogs from the ponds, it will also hold the supplier of the frogs accountable for breaking the terms of the contract.

The society said, however, that it doubted the American bullfrogs could be totally removed. It also contended that the county's move to release the frogs into the wild was illegal because Taiwan does not have a law allowing the random release of any creature.