The length of the Cuban tree frog starts at 5 cm and can reach 5 cm. Source: Wikipedia
Cannibal tree frogs from Cuba are invading parts of the United States and have authorities on their toes. Wildlife officials urge Americans to kill this species of frog when encountered.
Authorities are concerned about environmental problems as cannibalistic tree frogs eat frogs of the same species and are about the size of an adult human palm.
These frogs also secrete a fluid from their skin when someone touches them, which causes irritation. The problem is that scientists do not yet know what this liquid can do to the human body or animals.
How they “travel” to the United States and survive
These frogs arrived from Cuba and the Bahamas to the United States via Florida. However, scientists do not know how far cannibal frogs will spread. Biologists report that some Cuban tree frogs have arrived in Tennessee and are developing strategies to survive the winter.
“The only thing they have learned to take advantage of is the stuff we build our homes out of. They have been known to hide in transformer boxes. said wildlife biologist Daniel Sullenberger, who specializes in studying reptiles and amphibians.
“Electrical boxes are hotter due to electrical resistance.”“So these boxes become a refuge for cannibal frogs,” Sollenberger told the Augusta Chronicle.
The only known “breeding population” of Cuban tree frogs in Georgia is on Jekyll Island, a coastal state park in northern Florida. The State Park Service encouraged visitors to monitor traffic Cuban tree frogs And report the information to the park hotline.
However, cannibalistic tree frogs have proven adept at migrating, according to Sullenberger, hiding in clumps of houseplants and plants. “They are transported via vehicles or nurseries. For example, if you go to Lowe's and buy a tree, and if that tree comes from a nursery in Florida, there might be a Cuban tree frog wandering around.”Daniel Sullenberger noted.
The biologist explained that residents of coastal cities such as Savannah, Georgia, saw cannibalistic frogs “breeding in ponds and ditches.” Of course, it is not clear whether these frogs will move to the western United States. “We don't know how far inland they can get. Because it's kind of tropical,” Sollenberger said.
Why are scientists concerned?
It seems that what worries scientists most is the size of the frog, as it will be able to consume large quantities of food. It is also the only frog that even feeds on members of its own species.
“They will eat a lot of insects. [Αλλά] They will also eat whatever they can put in their mouths. They will even eat smaller tree frogs., Sullenberger noted. “There is at least some anecdotal evidence from Florida that they can actually reduce native frog populations. If we wanted to have some native wildlife in our backyards, that could be a problem,” the biologist noted.
James Stroud, an assistant professor of biology at the Georgia Institute of Technology, told the Daily Mail that these concerns are well-founded. “In Louisiana, where they were first recorded as invasive frogs, native frogs later appear to disappear in those areas. “This may be due to predatory behavior or competition with invasive Cuban tree frogs.” James Stroud reported.
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